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Zipper Club

June 9, 2010

I’m a member of the zipper club.

Oh relax… it’s not what you think. (although there have been a few embarrassing moments here and there). To be a member of the zipper club you must have had, at least one time in your life, open heart surgery. The club is so named because the scar looks like a big zipper running right up the middle of your chest. Not necessarily a club I would recommend or that you should be in a big hurry to join.

However, anyone who’s been through open heart usually comes out of the operating room different from when they went in. (aside from having a big zipper scar). One of my big moments actually came a few days before the surgery when the medical team was talking me through the whole procedure.

At one point, the surgeon sort of ran over a phrase that was something like “…. and once we get the heart stopped…”, and continued on. After a few minutes, I said “you know… can we go back to the whole stopping the heart thing? I got a little hung up on that”. “Oh yes”, he said sort of matter-of-factly, “the surgery can’t be done until the heart has completely stopped beating”. That’s when I said “Wow! Can I do this once a month?!” He didn’t laugh. Not a big bunch of kidders, these heart surgeons.

I asked the obvious question, “so, is getting the heart started again the hardest part?” “Not at all” he said. “Stopping it is the hard part. Starting it again is easy”. “Why is that?” I asked. He replied as he was casually writing something on his chart… “Because the heart wants to beat”.

I was stunned for a second. “The heart WANTS to beat?” “Sure” he said… “it’s created to beat”. From that moment on, I knew I was going to be fine.

You don’t have to be a member of the zipper club to begin to appreciate the marvel and mystery of a beating heart. Think about it. It’s not plugged in to anything, there’s no battery, there’s no photosynthesis cell or alternative fuel. There’s absolutely nothing on earth giving it even a hint of power. It just beats. And beats. And beats until it’s pre-ordained time to stop. (Ps 139:16)

So where DOES this power come from? I think most people, even people without a practicing faith, would attribute it to its only reasonable source… the power of God. (OK some would have to describe it as “a higher power”. I’m pretty sure that’s the same as saying “God” but just for people who are uncomfortable saying it. And then there are atheists but that’s an entirely different blog.)

It’s the same power that created everything from nothing. That can make nothing from everything if He chooses. The power to make man and the power to break him. The power to make me, love me, and put a heart in me that wants to beat.

Downhere has just released a new project called Two At A Time that features one of their older but previously unreleased songs that I feel like expresses how we’re to respond in the light of God’s almighty power. If you have a sec, give a listen to “Everything Will“.

So as I write, I’m praying that we would be blessed by a growing revelation of the beauty and awesomeness of His power, and it’s ability to not only sustain us, but to change us and continue changing us, beat by beat, for His glory. Incredible.

And while I’m praying, I’ll throw in the request that if you’re going to be a member of any kind of zipper club, it will only the embarrassing kind.

Blessings-

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2010 10:23 AM

    Aw this comforts me and makes me feel fuzzy hee :> So beautiful. thank you!

    • John Mays permalink
      February 1, 2011 1:32 AM

      Hey Eugenia-

      Thank you for posting this reply, and forgive me for taking so long to respond to it.

      Of all the blogs I’ve posted, you’re the only one that let me know that one of them made you feel “fuzzy”. I’m going to take that as encouragement!

      Thanks again.

      Blessings-

  2. June 28, 2010 6:11 AM

    Hey, John.
    Well said, well written. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. I want to have a heart that wants to beat only for the Lord.
    Blessings!
    Chuck

    • John Mays permalink
      February 1, 2011 1:32 AM

      Hey Chuck-

      You and me both. Thanks for the reply.

      Blessings-

  3. MICHAEL ANGELO RIVERA permalink
    August 10, 2010 6:40 PM

    HAD A CABBBAGE 3 JUNE 29,2010. I QUESS THAT MAKES ME A MEMBER STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT TO FEEL.WORST PART IS FEELING I LEFT SOMETHING IN THE OPERATING ROOM.FRIENDS TELL ME IT WAS THE STONE I CALLED A HEART.SINCE I’VE TEMPORARLY SO EMOTIONAL.I MUST SAY SOME GOOD HAS COME FROM THE SURGERY,THE LITTLE AND BIG STUFF JUST DOES NOT HAVE THE EFFECT IT ONCE HAD.AM I OK.OR IS IT TO SOON TO TELL

    • John Mays permalink
      February 1, 2011 1:36 AM

      Hey Michael-

      Sorry for the late reply. I’m glad you were at least well enough to post it.

      I remember being SO emotional as I recovered from my surgery. I’m sort of an easy cry anyway, but I was a constant stream of tears during those weeks, and the smallest thing would set it off.

      The doctor explained to me that anytime your body suffers that degree of trauma, the brain “sinks” with it as well, and it has to recover just like your physical body does.

      I’d take it as all part of the process, and thank God for awakening some new sensitivities toward Him and his work all around you.

      Thanks again.

      Blessings-

  4. Linda Lopez permalink
    November 30, 2010 4:54 PM

    I had a ‘cabg’ on November 1 of this year. As I live on the Oregon Coast, there’s a 2 hour each way drive to the hospital facility and my doctors. It’s been pretty scary. The drugs do different dances on different nights ranging from blood pounding in my ears to abrupt out of sleep awakenings.

    I guess what I would like is some reassurance from others of you that things get better, the fear lessens and your energy strengthens. Or, just a friendly pat on the back-gentle, please.

    Thanks

    • John Mays permalink
      February 1, 2011 1:39 AM

      Linda-

      I feel terrible that I didn’t notice your reply back when you sent it. I hope you’re feeling better and on your way to full recovery.

      If anything, this sort of surgery brings you to a new way of being alive. I think I’m more grateful that I was before. Maybe more sensitive to how my life can count, and how fragile it is.

      Consider this your friendly e-pat!

      Blessings-

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