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Breath--to breathe

Posted Friday, April 13, 2012, at 8:00 PM

She was talking to her friend when she began to cough. A funny look came over her face as she took a breath. A sound like the sound of sucking a cherry up a straw and it sticking--only much louder came at the end of a cough. Her eyes got huge. She stopped making sound. Her face and neck turned red. She couldn't breathe.

Her friend looked at her and kept calling her name. She struggled to answer. She waved her hands in front of her face and let out a tiny cough with a sickly sucking sound again. She finally was able to take a tiny breath.

"Asthma . . . can't . . . breathe . . . got to . . . get out . . . of here," she said as she ran for the door. Once out in a cooler area with less people watching her, she still struggled, but was able to get a small breath. She began to cough again and was finally able to get a breath--then another--then another.

Sweet air filled her lungs once again. Her body drew the air in wanting more. She took deeper and deeper breaths as she refilled her oxygen starved body. The simple act of breathing had returned.

Returning to her desk, her friends came by to check on her. She assured them she was fine--they didn't really believe her. As they gently prodded they soon found out that her inhaler had been used up and was no longer being made. The doctor prescribed a different inhaler, but without insurance it would cost more than she could afford. As was normal, she put the needs of her children above purchasing her medicine.

Her friends could not forget the horrible few minutes when she simply could not breath. Her panic and suffering became theirs. Her friends took it upon themselves to do something about it. They plotted on how much each person could pitch in to pay for the medicine. They called various pharmacies to check on the price. They looked on the internet until they found a coupon for the medicine. They told her in no uncertain terms that she was getting her inhaler.

Breath, the ability to breathe is such an essential part of lives and yet we rarely take the time to think about it--we just breathe. However when something happens that prevents us from taking that next breath, we are suddenly reminded upon that basic essential. Genesis tells us that: "the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." While 2 Timothy tells us: "every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another--showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way."

God, thank you for every breath we take. Thank you for breathing life, love, and truth--essentials of yourself into us. Help us remember that you are with us in every breath we take--every moment of our lives. May every breath we breathe be in thanks to you God for loving us. So be it. Amen.

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From My Heart to Yours
Rayla Stewart Hogue
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Rayla Stewart Hogue is a native of Dexter. She is a wife, mother, and minister of the UCC (United Church of Christ). She seeks to recognize and embrace the unending hues of God's ethne and religion, and commits herself to living and expressing this inclusive diversity through Sacrament and the spoken, written, and sung Word of God.
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