The substance that holds us together hidden in all

Rarely — just a few times in a lifetime, the world suddenly shifts, spins, then presents itself in a whole new way.

Rarely — just a few times in a lifetime, the world suddenly shifts, spins, then presents itself in a whole new way. My first scuba dive was one of those times.

The small boat was pitching violently on the choppy water. A storm had come to the islands and scrambled what was supposed to be the balmy blue Caribbean. The boat heaved and wrenched, rapidly transforming novices like me into an ecological shade of green — until we all went in the water.

With a giant stride and a mask smashed to my face, I sank below the surface, and in an instant everything changed.

The turmoil was gone.

The stinging salt spray vanished. Gentle sea fans wafted back and forth. Corals stretched as far as the eye could see. A turtle grew curious then swam away.

The ocean hammock rocked me weightlessly.

Occasionally a new idea crawls into our thinking and we are never the same again. It happened the day I exchanged the wild surface for the tranquil beauty of the water. It can even happen above the sea.

At this time of year, many people turn a thought or two to God, however, they define him, her, or otherwise.

There are so many choices — good, bad, wimpy, forceful, personal, disinterested, laughing, angry or tender.

We even create images on our front lawns that represent those hopes.

Not long ago a DVD presentation by Mr. Louie Giglio transformed my ordinary musings into the almost unreachable.

When I surfed to Google to check the information he claimed, I sat there, upended in my thinking, delighting in the greatest joke God has ever played on me.

While looking at the structure of connective tissue, I saw what is hidden in every one of us — what holds us together.

That substance which keeps us sane, active, and useful. It connects flesh and bone in you, me — everyone. It shapes us into something beyond Jello.

If you want to see it, too, just search “laminin” at The world shifted for me in that instant.

There are many other viewpoints than mine. But the delight I felt that day has never left me. Laughing still, I envision a God mighty enough to keep me from slumping into slime.

A being that can act as a mother hen or a star-breather, yet the ultimate un-threat. A baby willing to get dirty to get me clean — the greatest show-and-tell of all time.

Perhaps what we are living through now isn’t the ‘norm,’ but something temporary. Could there have been better times long ago? Is the best yet to come?

The swells still snare my stomach on the deck of a small boat, but not as fully as the undersea enchantment. Clinging to the railing now only creates a grinning anticipation of happy times to come. A time when turmoil, both under and above the sea, is over. is offering a copy of the Giglio DVD for this week’s first e-mail response. I would love to hear from you, and perhaps I’m not the only one.

Rita Corbett is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.