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Long-stemmed red rose

by davesandel on June 10th, 2021

Thursday, June 10, 2021                     (today’s lectionary)

Long-stemmed red rose

Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Yesterday morning in room 350, before breakfast, Margaret said, “Let’s go for a walk. Will you take my arm?”

So I did, and we did, and I thought of the Sunday strolls through Italian villages on balmy summer evenings, the whole town trailing along, couple by couple, family by family, up and down the gentle hills of Tuscany, or Umbria, or Sicily, walking on uneven brick streets, or unpaved roads, or modern sidewalks, hand in hand.

Sure, that tradition may have lost its traction back in Italy, but not in my mind. Not as we trickled our way through Ascension Seton’s nurse computer stations, and the aides’ rolling blood pressure carts, and the food trays, and the maintenance wagon. And perhaps not in our new nurse Nicole’s mind, either. Her grandparents are all Italian: the Bertoluccis and the Valencias. “There aren’t many of us left, but we sure have a good time,” she said.

God said, LET LIGHT SHINE OUT OF DARKNESS, and he has shone in our hearts and brings to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Jesus Christ.

Margaret’s cardiac rehab nurse also teaches dance, and she’s taking today off to supervise her students’ (age 5 to 18) recital. After she left, Margaret asked Nicole if she might exit the room with a little soft shoe, so she did. Looked Scottish, we thought.

We walked around the nearby corner to the bank of windows, into the atrium full of sunshine. What a wonderful destination for our strolls. We sat out there for an hour or so, facetiming a friend in Champaign for awhile. A couple we’ve seen a few times came and then were leaving, and we asked them when their baby was due. In a couple of days, they said, because the 42 year- old mom’s body has stopped feeding their baby. So much energy she had, though, and later in the afternoon, when Margaret went for a walk by herself, she gave Margaret a long-stemmed red rose from a bouquet her husband had gotten for her.

We cut a hole in the top of a water bottle, and that rose looks pretty nice, sitting beside the art display that Miles and Jasper add to every day. Now the big balloons and purple teddy bear have some competition for Most Beautiful Corner of our new home.

All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory. And we are not discouraged.

Yesterday we had no new bad news. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord. Margaret isn’t going anywhere till her surgery has been completed, which will be early next week, but things have leveled off for now. No new surgeries needed, no new infections. She met her infectious disease doc, Dr. Bisset, on Tuesday night at 10 pm. He apologized for coming so late. He must have been exhausted. He thinks her surgery can go ahead early next week.

Kindness and truth shall meet, justice and peace shall kiss. Truth shall spring up right out of the earth.

So for now, here we are enjoying our time together. Andi is making a list of the good things coming out of all this, and she taped it on the wall. Already we need to add page two. Tops on the list is our togetherness, and also the mini-parties we keep having in our room with one new nurse or aide or patient ambassador or doctor after another. I guess we don’t want to overdo it … or do we?

So I give you a new commandment: love one another, just as I have loved you.

Andi showed us a couple minutes of video of Miles and Jasper screaming HELLO WE LOVE YOU GRANDMA! WE LOVE YOU WE LOVE YOU WE LOVE YOU! They lit up the room. Maybe overdoing it is exactly what we want to do. God’s right-now right-here presence sparks all kinds of joy.

The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

(2 Corinthians 3, Psalm 85, John 13, Matthew 5)

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