"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD...He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." Micah 4:2

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Battle Rages On

My Dad
In the home of the elderly patient, time and schedules begin not to matter. There comes a time when appointments, chores, and lists are not the concern of daily schedule. A simpler routine sets in, closely resembling the beginnings of life. Someone else prepares food and meets daily demands while a dreamy sleep of yesteryear overtakes the patient. Awakening only for meals, a desire to snooze in a nearby chair is preferable, and even from that chair, longings gaze toward the bed whether the sun shines or stars twinkle in the sky. 
Without a purposeful study beyond the window, there is no difference of night and day, and the calendar moves on alone as the elderly one stares into the memories of the past.
The life of the care giver tries to slow down also. Friends and activities are put aside, basically  out of necessity, as concerns become more intense and necessary. Thoughts envelope the welfare of the patient, the care needed, and desperate prayers drown in pleas for the strength required to meet the eminent emergencies of each moment. 

Projects untouched 
This is my life with Dad. Often, I make plans for the little tasks I want to accomplish each day, yet find myself just sitting nearby, rubbing his hand as I watch his face. When I reflect on the day, I really don't know what filled the vaporized time from sunrise to sunset. Each morning, I make my lists for getting chores accomplish, but quickly give in to the desire to sit nearby, leaving projects untouched and waiting my attention. I am aware of the ticking of the clock, but the movement of its hands only remind me that the near presence of death pauses my activities and consider life.

There is no real explanation for what happens, but one's experience of sitting in a hospital room, anxiously watching a loved patient sleep, knows the feeling that describes the busy world stopping or maybe, at least, the sense that it moves on without you. 
There is real comfort in just sitting in the quiet room. The portal of death is honored as it causes all to patiently wait for the process of death to do its damage before real life triumphs. 
One must fight the settling in of discouragement by claiming the promises of God for life. A seed must die before life is produced. So it is with our own condition. Jesus died to give us life. So, in the process of this battle with death, it is pertinent to obey God's command:
"Stand still and Know that I am God".

Battle between life and death
Because of God's faithfulness, we have the potential to see life and beauty, even when the presence of Death becomes our backdrop. Gradually, we can accustom our eyes to focus on beauty, observing signs of new life, and experiencing peace in the darkest moments as we learn to stand still and know God is still Sovereign. 

Recently, I saw this conflict of life against death depicted most vividly in the quiet peace found in the VA cemetery. We visited my mom's grave as Spring was coming to life. The living scenes blossomed in gorgeous beauty among the final markings of death. Focus on nature portrayed God's intent for Creation, although, the backdrop displayed a subtle reminder of destruction promised by our original disobedience to God's Word. 
Yes, God remains faithful to His Word. Death brought into the world by man's choice can be pushed to the background by God's Life given to us through the death of His Son.
May you see beauty precede your darker backgrounds showing your knowledge of God's faithfulness. May you rejoice because Christ arose victorious over the grave!

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