Every Breath

You just took a breath. And another one. Did you even notice the one before?

We do it thousands of times a day. The oxygen moves into our lungs and goes on to do amazing things in our body. The process repeats. And we don’t even think twice.

But now I do.

I have pneumonia.

And I feel every breath.

It’s a long story that starts with a 104-degree fever and an ambulance ride and a couple weeks in the hospital. But that’s where it ends. Here. In my bed. Again. This time it’s pneumonia.

But … even though I feel half brain-dead (note: oxygen is important) and my muscles are functioning like those of a spry 90-year-old lady (note: oxygen is important!) … I’m still lying here trying to figure out what I can learn from this new predicament.

Because that’s what I do, right? I lie here. And I think. And then I write. So I can stay sane. Ha.

So …

What about that breath you just took?

How did it feel?

Stop and experience the next one.

Are you refreshed? Was it pleasant? It worked the way it was supposed to, huh?

Now me …

When I breathe, I feel …

Pain. Sometimes like a knife. Sometimes just heavy, like when your kids bury you in the sand.

In the night, I wrap my arms around my lungs like broken, inflamed wings … exhausted yet unable to grasp the peaceful rest of sleep because I feel … every … breath.

And in those moments I’ve started to wonder: What else do I take for granted?

When I’m well, I breathe in and out a thousand times a day and don’t think twice about it. How many other things in my life are like that? Little things.

I bet you can think of one.

What is your ‘breath’? It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic–something you can’t live without. Just something that works right. It’s always there. But if it does’t work right … suddenly you notice.

What about heat or air conditioning?

Or the way your car always gets you where you need to go?

Or maybe it’s a person.

Maybe it’s someone at your church or playgroup or at the office who is always there. You just take it for granted that they’ll always be there. But if they’re not, it changes things.

What about your spouse or your kids? Next time you see them: Stop. Breathe them in for a minute.

It’s a deep question, isn’t it?

What is your ‘breath’?

What works today … and you just take it for granted?

Until it’s gone. Or broken.

Today …

I feel every breath.

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