June 26, 2012


"I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears...."

I sat in the hall with all the other patients and their drips. We line the wall in the ER. IV analgesics I could not understand the names of tapped into my right arm at the elbow; the worst rebound migraine in the history of migraines. One man in a neck brace on a stretcher, a boy in a wheelchair peeking out of the next room, a woman in labor sitting next to me; she had been there for hours, still waiting... Waiting, waiting, waiting. That's what we do here.

It is well past midnight, this first day of winter. I sit, the drugs beginning to work their magic and ease the pain, and put me to sleep in a sitting position. My eyes fling open, slower than usual, as I hear the commotion - a man being brought in on a stretcher. He collapsed outside, the men who drove him to the hospital unable to hold him up. Blood is streaming from his chest: a gunshot wound.

I think that because I am in hospital he will be saved.

He dies several minutes later. I watch as the doctor comes out, his body language says everything. He points to his chest, He received a shot HERE. He shakes his head, takes off his glasses. We did everything we could...

It was like a horrible movie, the next scene predictable. The son buries his head in his hands and starts to sob, "My father, my father..."

The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous,
and his ears are open unto their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

Was he a bad man?, I think to myself. Are these the consequences of a life lived wrongly??

I wonder.

Sometimes I feel as desolate as things appear.

{...none of them that trust in him shall be desolate...}

Perhaps it is good that we are here, I try to console myself. Yes, very good that we are here, I tell myself again. I squint at the scene, breathe out, shake my head slow.

No, a voice says, Go home.

Why are you here? - the voice whispers. You could be next, you know... It's dangerous here. Don't you know that?

Fear, a constant companion, comes to visit again. Why can't fear just leave me alone?

 The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.

Death. Need. Loss. It is too much to bear some days, many days, most days. Nine months and I feel like I already need a big, long, stress-free furlough.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears.

Today there is no gas in town. No gas at the gas stations. There's just no gas. Lines of cars are three blocks long. Tony says, I'll go after midnight tonight, maybe there won't be any lines then. He tells me of the strike that is supposed to last into next week, which probably means no trucks making deliveries. I say we should go to the store today and stock up just in case.

We are on our knees, praying for peace. The anxiety overwhelms, driving us down. Tony gets ready to go to the older boy's home, the opposition begins.

I need to pray, he says standing at the kitchen sink. I don't want to go. I can feel it.

Sometimes I get tired of these desparate prayers.

It's the first day of winter, June 21. My mom's 65th birthday. Sixty-five. Where has the time gone?

She buries her father. He died on Father's Day.

Death, like a Gypsy, comes to steal what I love.  Again.

Sometimes I feel grey. As grey as these winter skies. I cry. Cry until three in the morning and I just can't stop.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.

I think of regret. Pain so deep, sorrow so great, I will never be the same again. I have an epiphany. And I'm mad it takes me forty years to come to it. I will never allow anyone to influence me again when I know what God is telling me to do. When I know what is right. But I don't do it. It's too late, it's too late. I can't go back.

Only ahead.

I think of this forgiveness that I have been given. This wonderful, unbelievable, undeserved forgiveness. I know I don't deserve it. I know it now more than ever. Do any of us deserve it? 
I think of him, lying in the ICU, the ventilator pushing air into his lungs, the phone up to his ear. Is he under the wrath of God or under His wings? He can hear me, but he can't speak. I grope to speak words of Truth, of Love. Something. Lord, give me something - the right words to say.

You need to get ready. Are you ready? I love you.

At my words he begins to flail his arms wildly. Fiesty, strong, German stock. Whether in agreement or in anger I do not know - I will never know, not in this life. We have to hang up. They call the nurse. He dies five days later.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart;
and saves such as be of a contrite spirit.

This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles....

The Lord redeems the soul of his servants.

I groan within myself, waiting for this redemption.

~Scripture quoted from Psalm 34

1 comment:

Kristy said...


This is...

My first reaction is this is beautiful. Yet that word seems inappropriate because of the rawness and pain of it all. LOVE the way you have used scripture in this post. Love the honesty and power behind the words.


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