My eyes, glued to the scene. The dust of the debris invaded my nose. My hands wanted to prevent the sounds of the sirens and the cries, but I couldn’t move. 1,700 miles away from Oklahoma City, I was there only by the waves of the TV, but I had walked that place, breathed the same air as those people. “Oh God, no!”
Floors dangled, wires sparked, glass fell. “Did I know, by name or face, anyone in that building?”
Often, I reached for the phone but fear would not let me dial. So I stayed, stared and mesmerized as reality sank in.
The aftertaste of sorrow lingers. Still existent but no longer all consumed by its grip I manage to gasp for breath. Moments at a time, life begins its return. Coffee with a friend, here. Date with my husband, there. An unforced smile manages to break through on occasion. The thickness of grief prevented it before. But Light has broken and darkness is not so black as it was. Deep gashes and slashes in the soul begin to merge together again. Because this place is not foreign to me, I have confidence that time will heal. First one step, then another, each stronger than the one before. Though a sense of “why” may never be made, purpose will be found. He promises it. I trust. It’s faint, but there. This pain will be a gift.
Matthew 26:39“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
More times than I can count, I have asked God to “take this cup from me.” Change my path, decrease my burden, ease my suffering. No rest for the weary as the saying goes.
I find solace in the fact that, even Jesus, bowed before His father and begged him, not once, or even twice, but three times, to change the plan, redirect the path he was to tread. (Matt 26:44“So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.”)
Frayed edges, stained center (outdated by American standards,) the throw rug beneath displayed the wear of many feet that had paced before me. Arms crossed and tucked in close, not for the chill in the enclosed concrete room, but an effort to contain the emotions with in me. My third child, escorted by a dark haired woman in a floral smock, was delivered.
I turn my back from the sun, and slap the snooze…again. Thoughts form, “just get up and move.” Limbs proceed to upright position; feet dangle a few inches from the floor. “So close, but yet…forget it.” My head drops back against the pillow, down feathers envelope and cradle me. I am incapable to motivate myself for another day. Instead my blanket of dull and dreary, I find safe and most content.
Startled by the ring tone of dogs barking, signaling a text message on my phone, I quickly sat up from a deep sleep. After trying to rub away the blurriness of my weary eyes, I managed to finally focus on the late night hour. Immediately I knew something was wrong. I read the text which confirmed my gut reaction. A dear friend was asking for prayer for her sick and physically frail husband.
I wasn’t surprised by the message of her text, nor was I inconvenienced by the late hour at which the request came. After all, missing an hour of sleep to pray was effortless compared to the countless hours they had spent battling at hospitals or treatment centers. This “spiritual giant” of a man has been an integral part of my own spiritual development, so of course I would respond to the request with great awareness and tearful pleas to heal him. As I was praying, asking for the same healing, the same miraculous intervention as I had many times before, it hit me…