I’m sitting at the table doing the mundane: Checking my email, filling out my calendar with upcoming events, wasting my last minutes of the day playing a few rounds of Scramble online, and then I hear them. My husband and one of my daughters singing downstairs. Juan is at the piano. Elise is harmonizing to his voice. They blend and make a beautiful sound together. They’re worshiping, going from one song to another and another.
And I listen to the words of one of the songs they’re singing, “Great Are You Lord” by All Sons and Daughters. The chorus says
It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only.
And I remember a summer just like this one, exactly three years ago. Juan was hospitalized. A good portion of his lung had been removed because he had, what we later came to find out, a rare lung infection. But the removal of the lobe did not make him well. It made him sicker. He was deteriorating quickly, unable to breathe. Unbeknownst to us, there was another infection brewing, a post-surgical one. His heart was working overtime. He looked and felt as if he were dying. He would soon need to undergo a second, emergency surgery, but this time, in a very weak body. This was one of the scariest times in the life of our family.
I remember we celebrated Daniel’s birthday by his bedside in the hospital room. He was awake long enough for Daniel to blow the candles and eat a piece of cake. We took pictures and smiled, but we were terrified.
Then came the second surgery, the intubation, and the very long recovery process. How many weeks? Months? It felt like years in that hospital room. Ultimately, there was healing. He slowly walked out of the hospital sometime in October. We went home. My husband was alive.
I remember the first time he returned to church and sang. The box of tissues made a few rotations through the congregation that Sunday morning. It was glorious.
Today I recall that trial and I am so thankful that my husband is sitting at the piano with his sweet daughter, and they are both singing It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only.