Staying Alive: It Takes 2 Inches of Compression at 100 Beats Per Minute

If you had left this life when you fell out of it...

I wouldn't have tears rolling down my cheeks at the emotion you evoke as you come to new understandings and bring your wonderful insight to us all.

Thank you.

Posted by Sara (Pal2Pal) at December 10, 2011 8:30 PM

There is a lot of beauty in this world.

Posted by Michael Gersh at December 10, 2011 8:31 PM

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.
Then Jesus answered, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"
And he said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."
            Luke 17:14-19 (ESV)

I've always wondered what that healed leper might have told people. Thanks.

Posted by Cris at December 10, 2011 8:54 PM

I needed that. Thank you.

Posted by Leslie at December 10, 2011 9:38 PM

Thank them again, for all of us, Gerard.

I recently have finally heard a still, small voice that has been whispering, "there is time enough. . ." and was quite startled into mustering the effort to silence the nagging lie of "life is short." Well, it can be if you think so.

And so, I am discovering the lie in so many moments that I hurry through, when I barely finish one task before flying to another; pushed, pushed, deviled into the finite clock of the Lie. I'm done with that lie.

There is time enough. If we slow down, get still. . . perhaps we are moving closer to the speed of Light.

Posted by Joan of Argghh! at December 11, 2011 5:26 AM

vThank them again, for all of us, Gerard.

I recently have finally heard a still, small voice that has been whispering, "there is time enough. . ." and was quite startled into mustering the effort to silence the nagging lie of "life is short." Well, it can be if you think so.

And so, I am discovering the lie in so many moments that I hurry through, when I barely finish one task before flying to another; pushed, pushed, deviled into the finite clock of the Lie. I'm done with that lie.

There is time enough. If we slow down, get still. . . perhaps we are moving closer to the speed of Light.

Posted by Joan of Argghh! at December 11, 2011 5:28 AM

Sara speaks for me. Joan speaks for me. I read this and couldn't find the words. They just stuck in my craw. Beautiful, Lazarus. Beautiful.

Posted by Jewel at December 11, 2011 5:41 AM

What a wonderful antidote to the deluge of political effluent that has been poured over the UK for the past 2 days as a result of one Englishman saying "No!" at a gathering of junketing parasites allegedly representing the interests of 'Europeans' (but that's a different story).

Your musical links led to a further link that comprised a compendium of three dancing scenes by Travolta, Michael Jackson and Gene Kelly/Donald O'Connor, stitched together with the same musical backing in a great video that, together with your inspirational essay, really did make me celebrate 'Being Alive!"

As someone else said above, "By Golly! I needed that!" And I speak as someone who, unlike you, was not snatched from life and quickly returned as 'not known at this address', but who has been given notice of eviction of a more measured kind to God only knows where, or when at this stage. That is yet to be determined. But as long as you're around to keep me entertained I shall strive to stick around for as long as I can possibly fight the demons, oncologists' hazy estimates notwithstanding. So keep on truckin' G; I'm rooting for you.

Btw. because the compendium was a link from a link, I omitted to bookmark it and have now lost it. It didn't come up on a re-run. Any ideas? Your other readers would enjoy it also, I'm sure.

Posted by Frank P at December 11, 2011 6:13 AM

Found it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuIvLl7Twg8&feature=related

Posted by Frank P at December 11, 2011 6:29 AM

Every day above ground is a great day. Whether your an Atheist or a Deist, the world is filled with wonders, beauty, miracles and magic.

(Look at some of the other work from the "Pianoguys" from the first video and you'll see an example of all the above.)

Posted by pdwalker at December 11, 2011 7:59 AM

Ah, once again you leave me sighing in a gentle agreement.

Last night, a wondrous night, while walking amidst a cloud of glowing hot-air balloons and watching my little boy alternately dance and be entranced by his first ever sight of a live band playing, I lost something small and precious: a ring, my Mother's day gift. It could be any number of places, perhaps even here at home, but I suspect it slipped off somewhere in the gravel lot, the soft chime as it landed being muffled by the sound of flaming jets, loud music and crunching pebbles.

If so, I hope that some of those angel's wings will set it in the path of whoever needs it most, and that the finder will find himself suddenly waiting, touched by the timeless and caught up for a moment by the very beating heart of god.

That's a lot to hope for such a little thing, I know, but this is a season of miracles, and so I hope.

Posted by J at December 11, 2011 8:21 AM

I am so glad you are still here---so glad. Oh, and "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" is my favorite carol. I've been struggling a bit to find the holiday magic and peace and once again, you lift the curtain to show me wonderful things...

Posted by RigelDog at December 11, 2011 9:04 AM

The "Stayin' Alive" video at the end is most revealing of you in your post. No matter how aged or decrepit the body, we nonetheless maintain a mental image of ourselves as about 25 or 30. This image is quite unconscious in us. That's why we're re-surprised every day at our infirmities in old age.

Posted by Gloria at December 11, 2011 10:34 AM

Why am I still here? What am I suposed to accomplish with the extra time allotted?

Just asking the questions is enough - though the answers may not be anything you expect. The ways of God are full of mystery, but most of all, LOVE. Knowing your Angels is a start. Writing from the heart about falling out of life and returning is a gift to all who come here.

Staying alive - it's what we all try to do.

Posted by Jimmy J. at December 12, 2011 9:20 AM

We are so thankful you are here with us. None of us seem surprised you are looking for the meaning of the grim episode. Thank you for your work on this blog and your particular collection of thoughts and images we can enjoy.

You've been given a gift to know how fragile life is and to have time to see your loved ones again. May God bless you and yours even more.

Posted by Scott M at December 13, 2011 2:29 AM

Beautiful. Add me to the list of those who are very grateful you didn't leave this life when you fell out of it.

Posted by Jeff Brokaw at December 13, 2011 8:32 PM

Bravo, by God.

Posted by Dan Patterson at December 11, 2012 2:17 AM

...!

Thank you.

Posted by leelu at December 11, 2012 7:01 AM

You say, "You can assume, as sometimes people I speak with about this strange state assume, that if you are returned to life you are waiting to find out what God has ordained for you to do with His gift regifted."

Perhaps, what God has ordained for you to do is to create and share the beautiful writing which you have done in the past and which you have done again today. Thank you.

Posted by Hangtown Bob at December 11, 2012 7:21 AM

Mr. Vanderleun, At the risk of stating the obvious, it would seem, by the comments, that perhaps your extra moments were intended to be spent enlightening others to the wonders of God's handiwork. I, for one, am exceedingly grateful that you continue to prove yourself so exceptionally well suited to the task. You are like a lighthouse, guiding some of us to the safe harbor. Thank you and please continue.

Posted by Roger Drew Williams at December 11, 2012 11:30 AM

"Surely they assume, as -- for a while -- I assumed, that God would not have pulled me back into life after I fell out of it without a plan for me; that God had some need, some master plan that only I can fulfill."

Do? I would think that would be most burdensome - especially from God: Isn't Sunday a day of rest and also the day to worship God?

I would think that simply... being... would be sufficient - especially in light of your re-birth.

Besides, the kinds of things you gave BEFORE it happen was quite alot and have enrich my life considerably.

Posted by cond0011 at December 12, 2012 11:48 AM