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For this reason we kneel before the Father

by davesandel on June 11th, 2021

Friday, June 11, 2021                          (today’s lectionary)

Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

For this reason we kneel before the Father

Last week Garrison Keillor wrote in his bulletin at church:

The words come in with a whistle

Like the sound of an incoming missile.

It’s so good to hear it,

“Let us live in the Spirit,”

From Romans, St. Paul’s epistle.

“I expected to be grumpy in old age (he’s 78) and of course there’s still time, but instead I’m awestruck, he said.”

Garrison had just spent a day in the ER of a large Manhattan hospital … “I came through the valley of the shadow of death and the Lord prepared a table before me in the ER and poured oil on my head and I came out feeling like Emily in ‘Our Town’ – “Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you!’ Is there such a word as enraptured? If there is, that’s what I was.”

This will be our seven and a half-th day in the hospital, and we watch what’s going on with somewhat enraptured eyes. Not that anyone notices, exactly, except that Margaret’s spirit is indomitable. Many of the nurses and aides who come into her room seem to have trouble leaving. Too good a time they are having. I could be imagining this, but I don’t think so.

Both of us have our own raspy edges of denial in the midst of this life-threatening crisis, but those out of tune edges don’t get played very much except perhaps at night, dark alone and before we remember to pray. Our Father, who art in heaven. Our rhythms have changed over this little-more-than-a-week, and our prayers are becoming more spontaneous and sweet sounding to the ear.

For one thing, there just isn’t anything getting in the way. No busy business-filled days, no angry highways, no confused communication with a credit card company or a relative or a cable company. That might be up there on the horizon, but not now. And so our bodies relax into new rhythms of the moment with mostly no concern for what comes next. These seem like more sacred rhythms, as they transform into simple experiences of the ordinary.

We talk, we don’t rush things, we walk up and down the halls. None of this requires planning, just the simple task of filling up each other’s space (in a good way most of the time). It seems simple to “notice” God in the middle of us, and be thankful. Andi spent much of yesterday with her mom, and reveled in the bond they’ve known all of Andi’s life. They have more than enough.

I am God and not a man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you.

On the other hand.

Margaret woke up Wednesday night unable to catch her breath. It took a little while to recover, partly because it’s so scary to wake up that way. She worried about the next night, whether it would happen again.

You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

And where she had no water restriction, now she does. She has been drinking a lot of water, because the medicine (Lasix) has been taking a lot out of her. She feels a little alone in the desert, unable to soothe her throat, unable to breathe …

Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord, and learn from me, for I am meek and gentle of heart.

She decided to change her plan, “pretending I don’t want ice water and seeing how long I can stay up instead of how quickly I can go to sleep.” There you go. Sounds like a plan to push to the end of yourself and trust God with all of it all the way.

When Israel was a child I loved him. Out of Egypt I called my son. Though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer.

Israel, her new nurse aide, introduced her to a new religion (or spoof) called the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Israel plays the violin, and spent some time with us yesterday playing my mini-guitar (about the size of a ukulele). He blessed all of us.

Our son Chris’ family is coming to Austin for a couple days, Saturday and Sunday. I’m happy Chris will get to spend some time with Margaret. Of course hospital rules about covid are partly still in place, so perhaps no one else will get to go upstairs.  But we will do some video time, play Cranium together, etc. We will be with each other and God will be in our midst.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you strength through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts, and that you, rooted and grounded in love, may comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

(Hosea 11, Isaiah 12, Ephesians 3, Matthew 11, John 19)

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