Fast Heart

by Josh Huber

If it were enough to have faith in the color of those slate blue clouds afar off–to believe in the beauty of the sunset colored autumn trees–to walk nearly skipping on downhill slant with yellow leaves tumbled by the wind leaping past–to hope for music–to love breathing and all that breathes–to be still and know what arrives–then I trust my heart would calm.

As it is I pray against my body’s mysterious rhythms. I request that God better measure the count, slow the time signature, slacken the pace. I lie down to sleep. Yet my heart sings its rowdy praises uptempo and thumping at the pipes in my chest’s tiny cathedral.

What is faith if not instrumental?
At convenient care I speak to friendly professionals. I answer many questions. I wait.

Eventually I sit on a papered chair, my right sleeve rolled up, while a nurse fails at her first and second excavations into a stingy vein. When the second needle goes pinching out, foggy dark puffs up into my head. I ask the nurse to lay me back.

Then black.

There are muddled thoughts and blurred visions I can’t quite recollect once the nurse’s voice brings me back to the room, the crackling chair, the fluorescent light, a remembrance of when and where. She says I’ve lost just fifteen seconds.

Alerted by the ruckus, a second nurse enters the room. She puts a cool cloth on my head. She finds a readier vein in my other arm and, all the while chatting with me about places to live and things to do, takes all the blood required. This without hardly a pinch or sting, leaving but a pin prick’s worth of red in the needled spot.

After the whole ordeal I feel inexplicably better.

Later I marvel at the purple-green bruises blooming on my right arm; I wonder at the skin untroubled on my left. Each is a testimony. I accept them both. There is faith enough for all this: for what works as expected and what does not, for the mystery and the plain truth, for certain and uncertain, for bruises and the invisible trace, for the heart too fast and the one finally slowed.

Follow us on social media
Notify me of new articles and posts
Select from this list

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café