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Smearing lamb’s blood on the hospital doorposts and lintel

by davesandel on July 16th, 2021

Friday, July 16, 2021                                       (today’s lectionary)

Smearing lamb’s blood on the hospital doorposts and lintel

Despite various wonders, the Lord made Pharaoh obstinate, and he would not let the children of Israel leave his land.

In the next few days people will be leaving Encompass rehab in droves. Ron and Z left today, without the usual ring-the-bell fanfare. They just wanted to get home. I promised we would come up to Leander for a visit sometime this summer or fall.

What day is it anyway? I’m pretty tired, not enough sleep. I know that’s even more true for Margaret.  Yesterday I got my days mixed up and nearly left two counseling clients in the lurch. I keep leaving stuff on my way out to the car, in the bathroom, back in Margaret’s room, on the check-in desk. We are making final arrangements with the folks who help us make appointments and arrangements for getting prescriptions and a walker, setting times for daily home infusions of Margaret’s daily antibiotic, regular physical therapy at home for the next couple of weeks.

Take some of the lamb’s blood and apply it to the two doorposts and lintel of every house in which they partake of the lamb. Eat its roasted flesh with your loins girded up, sandals on your feet and staff in hand. Eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the Lord.

On this same night I will go through Egypt striking down every firstborn man and beast. But the blood will mark the houses where YOU are. When I see the blood, I will pass over you.

Mavis our dietician and Lisa the HR director spent a couple hours with us yesterday, talking about what worked and didn’t work in our experience at Encompass. Lots of good and lots of bad, as well, and I think we both appreciated the chance to talk about both.

I keep looking back at those Passover verses. How has the Lord blessed us the last six weeks? How did we “take some of the lamb’s blood and apply it to the doorposts and lintel” of Margaret’s hospital doors? When did his death angel pass over her room? I think that, as time went by, both of us stopped quaking at the prospect of death and turned our eyes up toward God, accepting what could come and waiting for it, far more quietly than I ever thought possible.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones. Let us take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.

Under Margaret’s white board (by the way, Andi brought a Dry Erase marker so I finally put fifteen exclamation marks after her Saturday release date), Andi made a sign for her mom. In large-lettered multi-colored calligraphy the sign reads, “RADICAL OBEDIENCE.” Put blood on the lintel, sure, and gird your loins. But more to the point, follow the doctor’s orders. Do what the nurses tell you to do. Get permission rather than forgiveness. Suck up the complaints and find something or someone to praise instead. Listen longer than you speak. Appreciate, be grateful and loving, wait well.

In these simple ways, the Kingdom of God moves forward. I fail as often as I succeed, but no matter. In the Passover feast, God prepared and promised a memorial for the Israelites that for “all generations” he would celebrate with us. Our failure to thrive notwithstanding, God’s love pours into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus said, “It is here.” And we are here. So live like a believer.

Something greater than the temple is here. Learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice.

(Exodus 11, Psalm 116, John 10, Matthew 12)

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