The Fugue (John 14:26)

Most people know a fugue as a musical form. It is one or more musical phrases that are repeated and interwoven throughout a composition. Bach was a master of composing the fugue. A fugue is also a psychiatric term that describes a state of consciousness where the patient appears to perform an action but upon later questioning, has no recollection. The word is derived from the latin word fuga, which means flight. So in music, the repeated phrase appears to fly around the scale whereas in psychiatry, the patient appears to fly away from reality and their own identity.

I was privileged to work with many great professors when I was a resident. But one will always stand out. He had a photographic memory and one of the sharpest minds that I have ever had the pleasure to experience. As we daily sat around the teaching microscope, learning from his diagnostic forays into dermatopathology, we would occasionally ask him questions. He would often immediately answer the questions but every so often, he would lapse into a state that could almost be described as a fugue. He would look up from the microscope and appear to stare off into space. Sometimes this would alarm us and we would politely ask “Dr. Smith, are you okay?” But he would not answer and continue to stare. Sometimes, after a few seconds, he would continue his diagnostic sign-outs but at other times, he would abruptly get up and walk to his office which was lined by shelves containing hundreds of medical journals. Without hesitating, he would pull a volume of a seemingly random journal, flip through several pages and then exclaim, “Here it is! Here is the answer to your question!”

What was so mind boggling about these episodes was the question he was responding to was sometimes asked weeks earlier! Yet, the question was burned into his amazing mind and memory and would not depart until he adequately answered it.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 14:26

The experience with my professor reminds me of God’s provision to bring to our remembrance His continual provisions and mercy to us. The more we desire to walk with Him, the more our minds will continue to reflect and ponder the benefits and blessings He continues to bestow upon us. He does this so that we may be able share the Good News of His Son, Jesus Christ, to others who may not yet know Him. So even if we lapse into times of forgetfulness, God, through His Holy Spirit will bring to our remembrance His promises and blessings.

What a wonderful God we serve!

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.