Friday, January 15, 2010


Pronunciation: \ˈfi-shər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin fissura, from fissus
Date: 14th century
1 : a narrow opening or crack of considerable length and depth usually occurring from some breaking or parting
2 a : a natural cleft between
body parts or in the substance of an organ b : a break or slit in tissue usually at the junction of skin and mucous membrane
3 : a separation or disagreement in thought or viewpoint : schism s in a political party

The doc came by yesterday and told me that this crack in my skin beneath my right heel that has been painful and making my walking difficult for the past few days is a fissure. It's a crack in my skin just like in geology is fissure is a crack in the earth's crust.

I don't know what it takes to heal a fissure in the earth's crust, but my doc prescribed a salve to apply to the fissure in my heal for two days, which is to be followed by daily applications of petroleum jelly until the dryness goes away, if it ever does. Sounds OK to me except that, do to my obesity, I not only can't see the fissure in my heel, but I can reach it to apply any meds. Of course, I'll have my caregiver apply it tomorrow, but that means that I'll be able to follow the doc's instructions three times a week rather than three times a day.(Sigh)

Another kind of fissure is the kind that ruptured during the recent earthquake in Haiti. From the little I understand of the geologic dynamics of the earthquake, it seems that Tuesday's earthquake along the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault only ruptured along very small portion of the fault, creating a roughly 375 mile-long fissure in the earth. That represents only about 10% of the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault, which could rupture at any time. Wow! That's frightening to me.

At times as I have watched the destruction and suffering caused by the Haitian earthquake, I have imagined myself as a Haitian victim of quake: home destroyed, separated from family and friends, hungry, thirsty, spending my energy attempting to locate and rescue those victims trapped by the debris of the quake. I have prayed many prayers and shed more than a few tears for the people of Haiti. The quake and fissure that ripped through their island home points out to me how insignificant is the fissure on my heel.

Now is the time for healing these fissures--or, at least in Haiti, healing the people.

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), composed a hymn entitled “In Haiti, there is anguish” with lyrics to be sung to the music of the popular hymn Beneath the Cross of Jesus. I played and sang the hymn yesterday afternoon. If my computer's audio were not still screwed up, I would have shared my guitar rendition with you. However, you are most lucky! With no audio, I'll share the lyrics as I received them in an email yesterday:

The general secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, Setri Nyomi, today sent the hymn to all of the organization’s member churches with the suggestion it be sung at services this Sunday along with prayers for the people of Haiti.

In his message Nyomi says, “I am sure you too have been stunned by the news of the devastating earthquake in Haiti that we woke up to yesterday.  Haiti has been through so much and our hearts bleed to see them go through yet another major crisis with such a heavy loss of life and so much destruction.” 
The hymn lyrics are reproduced here below:

In Haiti, There is Anguish
ST. CHRISTOPHER (“Beneath the Cross of Jesus”)

In Haiti, there is anguish that seems too much to bear;
A land so used to sorrow now knows even more despair.
From city streets, the cries of grief rise up to hills above;
In all the sorrow, pain and death, where are you, God of love?

A woman sifts through rubble, a man has lost his home,
A hungry, orphaned toddler sobs, for she is now alone.
Where are you, Lord, when thousands die—the rich, the poorest poor?
Were you the very first to cry for all that is no more?

O God, you love your children; you hear each lifted prayer!
May all who suffer in that land know you are present there.
In moments of compassion shown, in simple acts of grace,
May those in pain find healing balm, and know your love’s embrace.

Where are you in the anguish?   Lord, may we hear anew
That anywhere your world cries out, you’re there-- and suffering, too.
And may we see, in others’ pain, the cross we’re called to bear;
Send out your church in Jesus’ name to pray, to serve, to share.

Tune:  Frederick Charles Maker, 1881
Text:  Text: Copyright © 2010 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.  All rights reserved.  Permission is given for use by those who support Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.


  1. I'm sorry about your fissure, Nick. Just another thing to plague you...

    As for Haiti, what a terrible tragedy. Those poor bewildered souls. My heart bleeds for them.

  2. Please take good care of your heel. There is a gadget that is similar to a long handled shoe horn...apply cream to gadget & onto the heel.

  3. Sorry to hear that your foot is giving you much concern, I was going to give you the same advice as Bette.

    If you go to the blogger buzz you will find a button for the appeal in Haiti. Or you could visit me to get it as I have it at the very top of my pages.

    You can find a link to blogger buzz on your dashboard where all the blogs you follow are.

    I do hope your foot gets better soon my dear.
    Much love

  4. I was going to make a rude joke there about cracks... but I won't ...(!)

  5. I was going to say what Bette said. I think they are av and I think they are reasonably priced. Call ahead to ask to save futile trips to many places. I hope you heal quickly, Nick.

    Prayers for the people of Haiti. sigh.

  6. I realize this isn't the ideal solution, but could you put a little salve or petroleum jelly on the floor of the bathtub and kind of smear you foot around in it?

  7. Much healing to you and your fissure, Nick. I know that the fissure in Haiti most likely can't close up or heal, but hopefully, the fissures among people can heal so that we can all work together to create less suffering there and everywhere.

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