Friday, December 18, 2015

God is in this room with us three.

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He is in bed much more now. In a room all his own, he lays still and restful -the opposite of all the years that came before. We've spent so long chasing him to and fro on all the adventures he imagined that this stillness is sudden and confusing. We visit and he sleeps some of the time and we look at one another with question marks in our eyes.

We are used to his busy-making, to his walking to and fro, to his holding our hands and keeping movement alive. But now, there's a stillness forced upon us when we visit. He lays and we gather. Quietly we drag chairs to his bedside and sit with our hands on his thin frame. We duck our heads near to his graying hair and tell him stories in hushed tones.

We talk to him even if he's snoring softly. We talk with hope that our words penetrate the veil of his sleep and settle cozily into his heart. We update him on the house, on birthdays, on Christmas presents, on news. We tell him about our jobs, wishing he'd pipe up with a quick quip of advice. We remind him that he is going to be healed one day and speak out loud the ways we're going to miss him. We do this in reverent stillness.

And, while I cry tears thick with emotion, I think of the words of Rabbi Joseph Meszler as they appeared in Have a Little Faith:
"Ever since that night, I have had to believe that whatever room I find myself in,God is in that room with me, and we are all part of God's Oneness. I cannot prove it. I cannot explain it. I just believe it to be true."
In that room with my sick, sleeping father, and strong, sorrowful husband, I know another Man holds space for us. In that space He sets down peace and hope and strength and promise. In the forced stillness and the painful tragedy of losing a parent, the Father is present. 

There with my back burning as I lean over my father, the Father stands. I imagine Him strolling through the white framed door and placing His large, strong hands on the plastic of the foot of the bed. I imagine Him standing at the foot of the bed and breathing steady, measured breaths over the heart-shattering scene, just as Jason does when we arrive. I imagine Him keeping a warm, strong hand on the back of my neck as my father once did.

I know He is there. 

He looks on as we speak. He just watches, maybe extends His kind hands to rub one of dad's feet through the covers. And we continue -Jason and I. We tell dad about the wedding that's coming up, Jason's the best man and I a bridesmaid. We share with him about the dancing and know he'd love it so very much. We share how he's going to be missed there on that day, but remind him that we know he's going to be there in our hearts as he always is.

He's there too. Then on that wedding day and now in this memory unit. He's silent and patient and simply looking on the way only a Great Father is able to do. 

Sometimes I want to turn to Him and say hi, please help us. Sometimes I want to stand up and reach out, grab His hand and drag Him over to my father's bedside. I want to tell Him that we need Him so very much, but especially him, the sick man who sleeps. But I sit and I speak with the two men He's allowed me to call mine.

Because sometimes, being in His presence, means doing just what He walked in on. Sometimes it means continuing to grieve, to miss, to mourn, to lose. Sometimes it means letting the mess spill out of the closets of your soul and sit amongst the ugly circumstance. Sometimes it means, letting Him be in the room while you do your most private, sacred living.

And so, I cannot explain it or prove it or promise it, but I do believe it to be true. 

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