I have often said that my father is like a cat with nine lives, except that he has used up eleven of them. He has had many medical situations that bring him close to the edge of the cliff but he has always come back from them. That incredible luck will end at some point. No one cheats Death; no one gets out of this life alive. We can be merrily swimming along when suddenly we crash to the bottom of the pool like a lead ball. There may be no warning signs or we may have a hint. Either way, life is fragile.
I have been thinking today, on the eve of Advent, that the Light is coming, and the darkness will not overcome it. The Light wins. Always. The results may not always look like we want them too but still, the Light always wins. I have said that despite my illness I could still outlive both my parents. However, as I looked honestly at that concept, I felt tremendous sadness that I might not welcome my dad Home, but instead I could lead him to that wonderful Light. There is no certainty of anything at this stage. Besides, the One who will be welcoming us all Home is so much more worthy of the task.
Dad has been talking about his health care directive and the DNR order to my sister and mother. On some level he has understood what he is facing. He had a few teary moments in the hospital. He knows that some of the treatment options are not available to him because of other complications. My papers are also in order. These are never easy decisions though. When do you actually put those into place? This week my friends lost their beloved dog and in talking with one of them he said that it is never easy to make that decision. All this talk in the media about medically assisted death does not change the emotional aspect of having to decide to end a life.
Advent reminds us of how vulnerable God became–coming to earth as an infant, dependent upon humans to care for him, aware that he came to die, but also to conquer death once and for all. As I prepare for Advent tonight, my heart is set on the Light, not the dark. I am not going to give it any more power than it deserves. Tomorrow I will light the first candle which symbolizes hope. This is what embrace right now. While the world may crash all around me, I will stand on the Rock. Join me?
How is the Light winning in your life right now?
How are you preparing for Advent?
Light of the World, dispel the darkness that can crash upon us in times of struggle. Keep our feet on solid ground. Amen.