The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News


Web posted on July 16, 2017

Hey Jude!

I had a colonoscopy last week. Without sedation.

I prefer it that way, so that I can watch the procedure on the video-monitor. Which becomes even more interesting when the surgeon gives me a guided tour: "That was your rectum. Now, here's your sigmoid."

Try to picture walking through a flesh-colored tunnel on a sci-fi movie set. "Breathe in while we go around the first corner. OK, let it out." You can see the veins in the tubular wall of the colon as the muscles expand and contract. Looks like a sophisticated version of the inside of the hose from your house's central vac.

"Second corner coming up. We're in the last stretch, now. You still doing OK?"

"No pain," I assure him. No chance of that; the colon has no pain receptors. And the air and water that come with the procedure aren't causing any cramping.

"There's your appendix. And that's your ileum, the entrance to your small intestine. Let's have a look inside the ileum while we're here."

As I follow the fibre-optic camera on its way through my lower bowel, I'm reminded of a Bible verse that says "I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14).

That was also the preacher's text at Marilyn Monroe's funeral. A bit cheeky, I thought at the time, but a-propos nonetheless. At any rate, it demonstrates the thesis that "man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

Despite the objections of some philosophers and some scientists, every experience of being "fearfully and wonderfully made" puts me in awe of the Maker. Beauty, functionality, and design are the marks of a Person (however you may understand that word when speaking of God), and of a purpose that lies beyond us.

As I watched the surgeon scoping out my insides, I remembered a verse that says: "You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part you will make me to know wisdom" (Psalm 51:6). It's pretty freaky that someone can check out my insides with a micro-camera, looking for the sorts of abnormalities that my father died of. It's freakier still that the Maker can check out the thoughts and intents of my heart.

I'm comfortable watching the surgeon do that, and mercifully he found nothing amiss. But I get squirmy when I sense that God is doing it, because he "desires truth in the inward parts" and I know what sort of stuff he'll find there instead.

But I also know that he wants to "make me to know wisdom". That's when he points me to Jesus, "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3), and "who is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (1 Corinthians 1:30). That's why I know that, spiritually, everything's going to come out OK in the end, too.

Rev Robert Lyon is the assistant at St Jude, Guelph, a congregation of the Anglican Network in Canada, that meets at 10 o'clock on Sundays at the Evergreen Centre, near Riverside Park. Robert welcomes your questions and comments, and will be pleased to discuss topics on request. Contact him at
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