A Tender God

“he will swallow up death for ever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
    from all faces”

That’s from Isaiah. Revelation echoes that promise;

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Roll on the day. Roll on the day.

I’m saying goodbye to a dear friend. It’s a long and lingering goodbye, and she’s in pain and distress, grown frail. I’ve known her for only about three years, but we rub along nicely, very different, we don’t have the same interests or the same approach to life, but we like each other and share an irreverent sense of humour. I will miss her.

I thought I would take this death in my stride. I’ve lost so many that surely, surely, the farewells would grow easier, familiar? I was wrong.

And I’m just a bit fed up with death being for everyone else but not for me. My turn. My turn. Enough of this bloody life. Enough already.

Of course, if you know me you know that last bit isn’t true. It’s a three year old child having a tantrum, that’s all. Forgive me.

This death hasn’t arrived suddenly, shockingly, out of the clear blue sky; and it hasn’t smashed a child on the rocks, or a young man in his prime… it hasn’t burst obscenely at a crossroads by the hand of a drunken driver…..it’s crept up towards us slowly, whispering its warning, and we have prepared. We are prepared. But no, we aren’t. But no, we haven’t. I’m not prepared to see my friend lying so tiny in a too-large bed, or for the hand that trembles in mine, skin breaking and bruised. I’m not prepared for the wrench of my heart when her breath is laboured and her eyes are dull. I’m not prepared for the quiet murmur “Oh, Luce, what will we do? What will we do?” I’m not prepared for her wrack of pain, the medications, injections, indignities, for her distress and her tears. I’m not. And I thought I was.

Oh, Luce, what will we do? What will we do?

We will trust God. We will. I will trust my loving God. More than that, I give her up to Him. In the brief moments when she is too ill, too weak, to trust Him, well, then my trust will cover us both. Fiercely.

Fiercely.

I see my helplessness and her total vulnerability, and I find a fist pressing on my heart, shortening my breath, dizzying. I can think of little else, care for no one else, in this world today there is only this dying friend. And God.

Yes. And God. I’m suddenly filled with joy, that God is the God of tenderness, mercy, love.  That God is the God of the sickroom, roadside, hospital. God is the God of the broken hearted and the fearful. And He is enough.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Roll on the day. Roll on the day.

 

2 thoughts on “A Tender God

  1. I knew you felt like this my friend. I hope you can feel I did. You are the most stunning writer – this piece will help others put into words the unbearable. I love you Luce and am praying for you & your friend, my dear dear Friend xxxxx

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  2. All love to you Luce. I am here at the other end of this blog with love and prayers for you and for us all. Em Xxx

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s