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Living, Breathing & Loving – Lessons I Learned with a Glass of Water | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Living, Breathing & Loving – Lessons I Learned with a Glass of Water

As I count the days until my time in cardiac rehab ends, it can feel like I’m merely passing time. I generally spend it praying and listening for God to speak to me.

Those who go into cardiac rehab can face a variety of challenges in addition to heart disease – maybe needing a walker, fighting partial paralysis, battling diabetes, or struggling to get healthier while breathing with a single lung. In today’s class, there was a lady with a walker, who worked her hardest to complete her exercises. When she finished the last one, I heard her comment across the room that she was thirsty.

Tired from her exercise, she pushed her walker towards the water cooler, where I was already standing. That’s whenGod decided to speak to me.

“Give her a glass of water. Take it to her.”

“Are you sure? Did you really say that?” I asked Him.

“Get her a glass of water NOW.”

As I gave her the water, I realized this is the most important lesson cardiac rehab taught me. It wasn’t how to change my lifestyle to eat better. It wasn’t how to gauge my exercise so I push myself, but not too hard. He told me what I had just realized.

“Living and breathing. And loving. That’s what matters.”

As I’ve worked through rehab, I’ve seen people get sick in the middle of exercise. Their blood sugar has dropped, or their blood pressure has spiked. They’ve needed immediate care and have gotten it. It’s hammered home how precious our gift of life is.

We need to better treasure our gift of life and appreciate even what a gift it is to breathe. Those breaths sustain us.

Many times, we get so distracted with the details of our lives that we forget to appreciate living and breathing.

The lady took her water and proceeded to class.

I immediately flashed with another image – of the woman at the well. Jesus Christ offered her the gift of water, and I never realized until that moment what a profound gift it was.

He not only reached out to her with water but with love. Love is the greatest of our gifts.  It is not an abstract concept. It is a deliberate choice in how we approach the other people in our lives.

We can do everything in the world right, but if we do everything without love, it’s all wrong.

On the flip side, we can screw up lots of details and make terrible mistakes, but if we truly reach out with love to those around us, it will work.

As I’ve faced my own mortality – and witnessed it in others – I’ve resolved to spend as much time as possible savoring the gifts of living and breathing – and of loving those around us.

Always remember these important gifts…

Living, breathing, and loving.


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