Saturday, April 28, 2012


Studying for my Step 1 board exam unduly consumes me at times. Even when I'm not studying, the mass of accumulated information continues to bang about in my head, producing previously unimaginable associations. To me, for instance "blueberry muffin" is not a tasty breakfast treat; it's a buzzword for congenital Rubella. Butterflies may be delightfully delicate and beautiful creatures, but they only remind me of the classic facial rash of Lupus (a "butterfly" distribution over the nose and cheeks).

Thankfully, Christy makes regular forays into my brain's cyclone of medical facts. One of her more effective techniques is to come into the study and sit on my lap. This treatment methodology has a remarkably rapid onset of action. With a beautiful woman sitting on my lap, concentrating on the pathophysiology of congestive heart failure becomes a singularly irrelevant pursuit. Other matters of the heart become overwhelmingly more compelling.

God certainly brought Christy into my life for many reasons. One of those reasons was balance. I was unbalanced before marrying Christy. Workaholism was real in my life. Everything I did seemed to center around maximizing my personal productivity, squeezing the maximum amount of work out of each day. Beauty was important to me, but I refused to soak it in. There was too much work to do.

With Christy in my life, I can't help but stop to appreciate beauty. Not only is she beautiful, but Christy has an eye for beauty and a heart with the depth and capacity to receive it. This explains why Christy brings so much beauty into my tired brain when she interrupts my frenzy of study by sitting on my lap. I notice first her own beauty but she will then talk to me and point my thoughts to other beauties in the world.

My experience with Christy in medical school has led me to conclude that beauty is an essential ingredient in the simple life lived well. Life is, after all, about producing beauty through a cycle of creative relationships with the natural world, each other, and God. This reality is both simple and beautiful.