that place between life and death…part2
for my friend it has been a scary place. She has not improved. I went by to see her this morning and was glad to hear that she had been moved out of ICU and into a private room. As I walked down the corridor to her new room I could picture her sitting up in her bed, active and smiling, giving praise to the nurses for their excellent care. She can be that way. Being in ICU I had to wear gloves and a gown every time I visited. I was excited to be able to visit without having to suit up to see her, but that was not the case.
Sadly, my friend had taken a downturn that morning and the doctors were forced to place her on oxygen, a BiPaP, or something, is what I recall reading on the machine. Briefly, I spoke to the doctor about my friends condition. I had to know if this was due to complications from her diabetes and I was surprised to hear the doc say, most definitely. The diabetes was the main culprit, but there was nothing that could be done. She had not responded to any treatment. At this point, the doc said, it’s a matter of waiting until her body can no longer tolerate dialysis. Yes, she was also a dialysis patient. The last few months she had been having a lot of problems dialyzing. When her body can no longer handle dialyzing, the next step is Hospice. After that, it is just a matter of waiting for the inevitable.
I walked into her room and I was slapped by the foul odor of feces coming from her almost lifeless body. I greeted her and she opened her eyes ever so slight and she started to cry. There were no tears streaming down her face, only a moaning and squinted eyes gave her away. At first I thought she was in pain, but she look me straight in the eye and began to cry. She so wanted to communicate, but couldn’t. She tried to in spite of that heavy plastic contraption that was now covering most of her face. And she cried.
In her somewhat conscious state I repeated to her what the doctor had shared about the early morning scare. All she could do was gaze my way. No movement. I know it was futile, but I asked her questions, trying to force her to answer me. She was asking for help, but I did not know how to help. How do I help you? I asked in frustration. I was helpless, and I felt tears streaming down my face. I know she had never seen me cry. I won’t cry in the presence of others.
In my frustration I shared with her my early morning scare having to go to court with my daughter over a domestic violence issue. A couple of months ago, she and her husband got into a heated argument that required police intervention and somehow she was the one arrested and charged with assault. She had heard stories of this torturous relationship many times before. Anyway, my daughter had rejected a deal from the DA that required her to do a number of things, which she flat-out refused to do. She had done nothing wrong and was not about to take time away from her job and family to complete classes that she did not need. She chose to go to trial. That’s where we went this morning.
In her state, my friend listened. Since, my daughter had not been assigned a public defender I had advised her to speak to an attorney. She never found time to do that either, so she showed up with only her mother by her side to face the Judge. I went on…I told her that her husband did not even present himself. My daughter was praying the Judge would dismiss the case, but she knew she was taking a chance.
I shared part of the conversation I had with God the night before. I asked Him to forgive me for being mad at Him. How could I not be? My friend was still sick, I was still unemployed and now my daughter’s life hung in uncertainty. I cried out to God, so unsure that He could even hear me. I kept trying to keep her attention. I told her how the Lord had been merciful to my daughter by dismissing the case. She was even reimbursed the bond fee. I know she saw me tearing up and I began to pray.
I can’t understand everything God is doing, but I know that He is working things out for His glory. I keep wanting to see my friend sit up and talk, smile, yell…anything. I want to share with her all the things that the Lord is teaching me. Will I see that happen? I honestly don’t know.
After a few minutes, even in her condition, I knew she had to be uncomfortable, so I called the nurse to come clean her up. Unfortunately, it was gruesome and after they finished she passed out again. She was in and out, so I just sat there trying to make sense of my world. Why does God feel the need to throw so much adversity my way? Why does He take so long to answer, or to provide? I was humbled to realize that my conversation the night before really did reach the ears of the living God. I know that He is somehow working through my friends illness.
After I left the hospital, I was listening to Christian talk radio and there was this preacher, I had never heard before, talking to me. Can you guess what the preacher was talking about? Yup, waiting on God. Have you been waiting years for God to provide? Yup. Have you been dealing with unemployment? Yup. Do you think God had forgotten about you? Yup. This preacher addressed everything I addressed in my conversation with God. He used the example of the man who had sent for Jesus so he could heal his daughter, but Jesus was intercepted by the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years thereby delaying healing for the man’s child. Both these characters had to wait on God. The woman waited twelve years for healing. The other lost his daughter waiting on God.
That night the Lord also showed me how much He wants to comfort us, even though we resist. My 3 y/0 grandson has been throwing temper tantrums…when he gets corrected, when he gets disciplined…when he does not get his way…need I go on. Well, in his fit…if I try to talk with him, or to comfort him he resists me, he runs from me yelling and screaming leave me alone! I don’t want you to hold me! on and on. All I want to do is love him, hold him, comfort him, explain things to him. No matter what he does I still love that little guy…so much. He can’t do anything to make me stop loving him. That’s how God is with me, with us.
Too many times God delays … but in His time and on His terms….His perfect will prevails.
41 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house:
42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.
43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
49 While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.
50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
51 And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.
52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.
53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.
54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.