Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lamenting in Joy

She looked up at me through her tears.  They had been fighting for so long, and there were no answers.  They had fought the cancer and the heart troubles and the emphysema.  They had fought through the financial crisis' and the disability and the disappointing children and the pregnant teenage grandchildren.  And yet, here she was, in a battle that she couldn't win.  She was ready for the death, but somehow it didn't come, just more pain.  She was trying to let go and God and her body were still holding on..  "Where is God," she asked?  "How long will hear my cries and turn his ears.

We pulled out Psalm 13 and I read it again and again and again.  "How long will you forget my Lord?  Forever?  How long will you hide your face?"

"Look at me!  Answer me, Lord, my God! Restore sight to my eyes!"

"But I have trusted in your faithful love!  My heart will rejoice in your salvation.  Yes! I will sing to the Lord, because he has been good to me."

"Why do you love this one so much?"  I asked her again and again.

When she had enough strength to answer, she finally said, "Because its how I feel.  I feel forgotten, but know that God has been good to me. I need both."

She lay her head down and asked me to read them again.  More slowly.  And we sang.  How Great Thou Art. Pass Me Not.  Amazing Grace.  As the Deer.  I stayed for an hour, squeezed her hand and left.  I wish I could tell you she died quickly or peacefully.  But she died gasping for air days later.  I'm just thankful that when her time on this Earth and the lessons she taught me.  Especially about Psalm 13.  About feeling forgotten and loved at once.  I feel that way sometimes too.  Forgotten and loved and forgiven and rejoicing and lamenting. God is good, even when this world isn't!

Pastor Emily


Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Such a touching story, Emily . . .
"God is good, even when this world isn't" - something we all must remember. And, as you said in your sermon today, we must choose to love and act in love as He has loved us, even when the world wants us to hate those who despise us.
Blessings to you!

Lynne Watts said...

WOW, Forgotten and Loved. What insight. What acceptance...

Mom said...

But God never forgets us. That is our point of view. He is right there with us even when we feel alone, forgotten.
In Psalms 14:2 "The Lord looks down from heaven ... to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God." He is always looking for us and is always with us.

Lindsay said...

great story. thank you for sharing.