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Margaret’s late night kiss from Jesus

by davesandel on June 24th, 2021

Thursday, June 24, 2021                     (today’s lectionary)

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Margaret’s late night kiss from Jesus

Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord. For now the Lord has spoken, and I am made glorious in his sight. My God is now my strength!

Margaret has got to be getting better. She spent a couple of unwanted waking hours Tuesday night planning what she wants to me to bring her in the hospital, which is NOT her new home, no matter how much it seems that way. Body wash, a knee pillow, a Susie Orman book, a cook book and menu planner, gluten free crackers, tweezers, peroxide, baking soda, lip gloss, mousse for her hair, massage oil, essential oil, a soft black washcloth, her “tens” machine, coated hair bands, clear nail polish and remover. “Are you writing this down?” she asked.

I made this list while she closed her eyes and remembered it all. But most of the time yesterday I just rubbed her feet and legs, praying for them because they are swollen. With help she gets onto the side of the bed and then into the easy chair. Then with help a couple of hours later, she gets back in the bed. Her legs feel like jelly, she said. Making them move will happen today. Walkin’ on down the line with Dylan or Drew.

I praise you, for I am wonderfully made. You formed my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Oh yes, I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret, when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.

I went to Mass in the Seton Hospital Chapel yesterday at noon. A priest from West Africa prayed, read the familiar readings of the day, and distributed the body of Christ. It was wonderful. There was one another participant, a sweet woman who bowed to me from across the aisle when we passed the peace. She knew the liturgy much better than I did.

After the service, the priest surprised us, saying that while he had continued to pray the Mass three times a week in the chapel, during the covid season there were no congregants. We were two of the very first in months. His smile was wide, without a mask. Ours were too, under ours. I was so happy that he told us this.

To us this word of salvation has been sent.

Margaret added to her own Lord’s Prayer saga before I left for Mass. That other midnight while she was alone in her room, as she struggled to remember and pray the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus came and kissed her.

In your mercy, Lord …

Hear our prayer.

Our friends are returning from or leaving for vacations, to New Mexico and Colorado, to Florida, to Idaho, to Michigan and Minnesota. I am happy for them and share a little, as I can, in their adventures. But just now, of course Margaret and I want to leave the hospital. To do that she has to leave the ICU first. And I was thinking that the care she gets in ICU is more “intensive” than what she’ll get upstairs, and the care she gets upstairs is far more skilled and helpful than what she’ll get at home. So why are we in such a hurry?

Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her.

On the other hand, it’s right and good to get back to the basics of living as an adult in Austin –walking, talking, eating, drinking, sleeping, playing with Miles and Jasper (and all the rest fade away compared to playing with Miles and Jasper). This beautiful picture is what Margaret sees night after night when she can’t sleep. This time her eyes are not playing tricks on her. When we video chat with them in the morning before lunch, all of us remember in an instant why we’re here in far-off Texas, waiting for God’s healing in this hospital full of beautiful people.

Surely the hand of the Lord is with her.

(Jeremiah 1, Psalm 71, 1 Peter 1, John 1, Luke 1)


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