We half-sleep-walked into the hotel this morning after spending another night in the nursing home.
Last night one of the nurses had said “this is the end” and after that none of us wanted to leave. And so, hour after hour, tear after tear, we stayed. Our emotions swirled like the wind whipped snow off the roof.
My feet ached from walking the halls or standing like a sentinel. My back and neck ached from pretending to sleep in a chair.
We figured we’d get some rest and head back when we woke. I woke feeling rested, but when I looked at the clock it'd only been two and a half hours. Nevertheless, I couldn't sleep.
I had a prayer swirling around in my head.
It was about the similarities between what Ma is going through and what Jesus went through during the final hours before their death. It went something like this:
Father thank you for giving Your Son, Jesus and thank you for Your precious daughter our mother and grandmother.
Jesus, thank you for putting on flesh—putting on skin—to walk among us and show us how to love.
And thank you that you're the same yesterday, today and forever. And what You did back then, in a way--You've done it again, by putting on skin and showing us how to love through our dear mother.
Lord Jesus as you hung between heaven and earth on an old rugged cross just hours before your death , you struggled to drag air into your lungs, so too, our dear mother, Your sweet precious child, hangs in the balance between heaven and earth and each breath sounds like the dragging of an old rugged cross.
As you hung on that cross, You winced as You drew a ragged breath and cried "Father forgive them." She too, drags in a gargled breath and when she could speak she'd say, "I love you...everyone."
Lord, when Your time to leave drew near, You spoke to a realm not seen from here. And so did our mother. She spoke as if to those gone long ago, and could see that which remains to be seen.
When Your work here was done, You said, "Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit. And so too, Your sweet child will soon commit her spirit into Your hands. And although we're going to miss her, and our hearts will certainly ache--through tears we'll still find the strength to thank you.
Thank you for visiting us through her, and showing us how to love.
Now, with Your help we'll not allow her life to be in vain.
As You committed Your Spirit, and as your precious child is about to commit hers... we commit ours, too.
Today, right now, this moment, we draw a ragged line across our broken, weary torn and bleeding heart and declare as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. We will honor the life and memory of our dear sweet mother--Your child.
We will live our lives by the law of Love. When we fall, which we are sure to do--we will follow Your example...and hers, and forgive ourselves and eachother and simply live by the power of love.
Now, before we say amen, Lord help us to be ever mindful to number our days. Because someday soon we too, will be the ones hanging in the balance between heaven and earth...open our eyes Lord to see that that day is today.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters