Sometimes the road seems long, uphill and weary. We can be overwhelmed and miss God’s presence in these times. The past two days have been a tad challenging. Sitting around in hospitals is distressing but over the years I have learned a few tricks when I am not the patient and one of them is to pray. I was able to do this last night as I waited for news. This morning prior to heading back to the hospital, I flipped through social media and found my heart despairing as peaceful, unarmed water protectors were being harassed. How does God manage all the requests that end up in the inbox?
I know from my sister’s death that God was present. In these traumatic times, God may seem far away but if one pays attention, God shows up in the oddest places. When my mother called to say that my father needed to go to the hospital, I drew in a breath. I have been sensing for weeks that he has not been well. The television in the hospital waiting room was tuned into the presidential medals and as I watched I could not help but feel joy at the choices. The world political stage might be changing but in this moment there was recognition that different is a blessing.
During the wait, I saw someone I know walk in and having a few moments with this woman of faith strengthened and reminded me that heaven is our Home. Whatever happens we who know where we belong have no fear. On my mind though was another friend who was also in Emergency and who my father would follow behind until landing a few doors down from her tonight. Too much sadness in my world threatened to break me.
The heaviness in my heart could have turned me away from God and towards desolation. Rather, I was able to see the goodness in a number of encounters. Last night I hailed a cab and took my mother home first before continuing on my way. I asked the driver to wait while I walked my mom to the door because of an icy sidewalk. When I returned to the cab, he turned around and told me I was a good daughter. He seemed surprised that a Canadian took such good care of an aging parent–he said that he had not witnessed it often. I was touched.
Today, while visiting my farm-boy father, a volunteer showed up with her dog trained to visit patients. Dad perked up. I saw you looking at him, the woman said, showing Dad a number of tricks the dog could do. I smiled, watching Dad forget for a moment the seriousness of his own situation. God spelled backwards is dog.
Some days, we drag our crosses as we plod along. The load does seem lighter if we remember to yoke ourselves to Christ. If we seek Jesus in the stressful moments, we may find courage and hope that we did not know we had. Before heading to the hospital today, I stopped in at the chapel at my church and prayed for a few moments before the Blessed Sacrament, exposed today, as it is every Wednesday. The way is weary and without Jesus, even more so for me. I am glad that I look for God in all things and that my Beloved is ever present if I have but eyes to see.
Who do you turn to when your world begins to fall apart?
Do you remember a time when God showed up in an unlikely costume?
God, I am weary in my soul but not overwhelmed. You are with me on this path. Keep my eyes open wide for glimpses of you, spreading Light in the darkness. Amen.