“Infuse my body, soul, and spirit with Your grace. Give me a soft and obedient heart that yields readily to Your will. Give me a broken and contrite heart that despises sin and yearns for true holiness.”
That’s part of what was waiting in this morning’s inbox. It’s from a morning devotional that I always have early each day, this one from Hebrews 9. The word ‘infuse’ immediately got my attention – kind of like when you’re in a hurry doing last-minute chores and your shirttail catches in the door closing behind you.
“Infuse?” Yeah. It’s a loaded word to me. Infuse immediately brings back a bunch of memories, like an unruly street mob, every one vying for position and trying to out-yell the rest.
- Having my upper chest sliced open with a scalpel. . .
- a Hickman catheter stuffed down into a subclavian artery and sutured in place. . .
- the other end being connected to a very expensive bag of sticky, milky, gooey white steak-in-a-bag known to Short Bowel Syndrome consumers like me as Total Parenteral Nutrition.
- having to mix a smaller bag of multiple vitamins into the TPN bag prior to connecting it to my catheter because that was the only way for me to absorb vitamins. It was ugly brown and didn’t smell or look enticing. . .
- being hooked up to that IV pump 24/7, so I couldn’t go anywhere, even outside. It was embarrassing, I didn’t want to be ogled and pitied, the whole load of unpleasant-but-now-normal memories. . .
That’s what infuse means to me. Seeing it is like popping open an overpacked suitcase. The power of memories like that is impossible to overestimate. Even this morning – 12 years after God said, “You won’t be needing that any more,” just saying the word out loud brought tears and a suddenly swollen throat.
So this morning, early, when I saw that word, these are the immediate flavors and colors and sounds that came flooding into my spirit like wind-driven leaves into an open garage door.
“But those are negative memories, right?” Yes. The old ones are. Yet that’s not the fault of infuse. Emerson wrote that nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Oh, what we could all be if we stopped carrying the remains of who we were!
Infuse means, medically speaking, “to administer or inject by infusion.” It’s actually neutral, right? What matters is what’s being administered. So one other definition is ” to steep in liquid (as water) without boiling so as to extract the soluble constituents or principles.” Okay, that’s a little closer. But let’s look at one more. To infuse is “to inspire and animate”.
Oh. Okay. So, if I’m getting what Merriam-Webster says, to infuse is like continuously soaking who and what I am in something with the intended result being my receiving every possible benefit, flavor and understanding relative to that ‘something’.
Let’s look again at this morning’s exerpt from that prayer.
“Infuse my body, soul, and spirit with Your grace. . .”
What would today look like if I welcomed both meanings: to allow both the constant steeping, soaking of my thoughts and intentions in the quiet, deep pool of God’s grace; and at times of peak need to welcome a bolus, a push of extra grace for the immediate need?
Maybe the better question is, what would my influence be like if I’d been steeping in His grace, and at times of crisis or urgent need I knew I could depend on His ‘push’ of extra grace to meet it?
What would your day – and you – be like if you did?
As Robert Ingersoll wrote, “We rise by lifting others.”
© D. Dean Boone, September 2015