Daily Worship

Ligaments!

Rhona Cathcart June 14, 2024 3 0
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Ephesians 4: 15-16 (NRSVA)

15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

My father inherited some of the skill of his weaver ancestors, although not at the loom. Nor, it has to be said, was he markedly skilled at his basement workbench although he enjoyed having a go.

But my dad did have his own sort of specialist toolkit, carried in a black bag which fascinated me as a child. Instead of tapestry needles, warp yarn, weaving shuttles and combs, it contained surgical needle and thread, bandages, thermometer and so forth.

The most fascinating part of his medical toolkit for me was the stethoscope (although the empty syringes made excellent water pistols).

My father’s speciality was radiotherapy — studying, examining, and using the power of radiation to try to eliminate cancer wherever it affected the body. But like most doctors, he had a broad medical knowledge. He understood how the body worked, and could turn his hand in an emergency to whatever was needed. Although he wasn’t a surgeon, I can attest to his stitching ability when I split my chin open aged four!

He loved his work and was convinced that one day we would understand enough about the body to enable it to heal itself of cancer. In a way, this belief allowed him to be a kind of ligament himself, a living tissue or stitch, which helped hold his patients together. He wove delicately calibrated threads of radiation into their bodies while weaving words of hope and encouragement into their hearts. The many letters we received from former patients after his sudden death, aged only 42, were testament to the role he played.

He would have been fascinated by the advances made today if he had lived to see them. But he lived long enough to make a difference to all who knew him.

 

Prayer:

 

God of body and soul

Of fibre and faith

Of ligaments and love

Help us to see and be the connective tissues the world needs

Stretch us, warm us, radiate us with your healing touch,

that we too might be healers in your name.

Amen