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Breath of heaven

by davesandel on July 19th, 2021

Monday, July 19, 2021                                   (today’s lectionary)

Breath of heaven

Last night Margaret said, “This is just like the hospital. I say I’m ready to go to sleep and you say I still need to take the evening meds.” She glared at me. Ah, well. I always wanted to be a male nurse, didn’t I?

We do have a male nurse named Ryan who came again on Sunday. He walked me through giving Margaret her antibiotic through the pic line, and I did most everything right. I even put on my gloves before I could contaminate stuff with my unwashed hands. He didn’t help Margaret with her nausea, though, which prevented her from eating much of anything all day. Call the doctor on Monday, he said.

So today we will call the doctor. Along with Margaret’s first physical therapy meeting with Elizabeth and a trip (for me) to the DMV to get a 9-month handicap placard for our car. Our retired nurse friend Pam is driving south today from Cave-in-Rock, Illinois to spend a week or so with us. That will be wonderful.

The stories are becoming a bit more prosaic, at least from my point of view. I miss meeting new people every day from all the countries of the world and exploring their lives and points of view. Margaret, on the other hand, is happy to be sleeping in her own bed and doesn’t miss anything about her last six weeks away from home.

We went to church today, which means we drove our car a tenth of a mile across the street and parked in a handicap parking spot (with permission), took an elevator up to the third floor and spent an hour with the Grace Church pastors as “newcomers.” In spite of her stomach discomfort, Margaret enjoyed the meeting. We have wanted to become official “newcomers” since we became Grace attenders several months ago. She didn’t eat the kolaches but she did have a few strawberries and part of a cup of coffee.

This was Miles and Jasper’s first day back to kids’ church since March 2020. I hope they loved it; they were tired and seemed happy in the van afterward. It’s pretty great to be going to a church we love, with family that we love even more.

So obstinate had the Lord made Pharaoh that he pursued the children of Israel even while they were marching away in triumph.  In great fright the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and then to Moses. “Why did you do this to us? Must we die in the desert?”

I learned about the exodus when I was in Sunday School. So did Margaret, Aki and Andi. Miles and Jasper learned about it from The Jesus Storybook Bible, from reading that book every night with their parents:

God made the pillar of smoke move. It moved behind his people and hid them from the Egyptians. Then God sent a strong east wind to blow all night long. It blew on the water of the big sea. It blew it to the left and it blew it to the right, until it blew it into two towering walls of water, and there – right through the middle of the sea – a muddy pathway opened up. And God’s people walked across on dry land! When the Egyptians tried to follow, the walls of water crashed back down on them and swallowed them up. God’s people were safe! They danced and they laughed and sang and thanked God. When there had been no way out, God had made a way.

Cecil B. DeMille loved this story so much he made two versions thirty-three years apart. At our house on Easter evening, The Ten Commandments was required watching on NBC’s Sunday Night at the Movies. Dad came in from milking and we ate supper around the TV, watching fascinated every year. The pillars of smoke and fire blew up into the sky, and the great deep voice of God burned the tablets with words to guide us all forever. And especially, unforgettably, my eyes were fixed on the parting of the waters and crossing of the Red Sea, by the children of Israel but NOT the pursuing horrible hordes of ugly soldiers. At last, once at least, the good guys won!

Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.

For Moses it had a been a long time coming. And it would be a long time still, a good long forty years. But that is not unlike any of our lives, I think. We all wait with held breath for God to part our own several seas. Without that breath from heaven, we are lost.

We will sing unto the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously, the horse and rider he has cast into the sea.

(Exodus 14-15,  Psalm 95, Matthew 12)

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