a plea for help from the Beloved

a plea for help in the face of the terminal illness of a loved one

Oh my God, how can this be happening? Save me, my Lord!
The pain is a raging lion that is ripping me to shreds, and will tear my heart out — with no one to stop it.

There is nothing I have done —
nothing anyone could have done —
to deserve this;

yet the enemy persists:
chasing down the innocent, torturing their bodies,
taking away their hope, their dignity, their lives.

And I stand like the Magdalene at the foot of the cross;
fighting back my tears,
pretending to be strong and unafraid.

Around me calm and cool professionals
stride through the hallways with authority.

Their business is medicine: procedures and prescriptions,
biopsies and blood samples, tests and treatments —
and holding death at bay.

Their expertise is impressive,
their commitment is admirable,
the results they can conjure are near-miracles.

Yet I know…
I know, in my heart of hearts,
that all of this is purposeless.

I’ve seen it all before, Holy One, and I am sick of it.
I am sick with fear at my own impending loss,
and sick with sorrow at my loved one’s suffering.

And I stand like the Magdalene at the foot of the cross;
fighting back my tears,
pretending to be strong and unafraid.

Gracious God! How long must this go on?
If it is not Your will — then why?

Options are discussed;
I am told about treatment protocols
and “pain management techniques.”
Such knowledge is almost too great to bear.

Controlled and clinical voices describe
the progress of the disease.

Watchful eyes look at me with compassion and concern
as the death sentence is pronounced.

And I stand like the Magdalene at the foot of the cross;
fighting back my tears,
pretending to be strong and unafraid.

Soon the time will come —
too soon, and almost beyond my imagining —
when they will take my loved one away for the last time.

And I will stand like the Magdalene,
weeping inconsolably as the Lord is taken down from the cross.

Give me strength, Beloved, to see me through the days ahead.
Sustain my faith and my courage,
that I may find peace and hope.

For I do know that You are a good, good God;
and I trust in the Promises Your son revealed.

I believe that there will come a time when mourning
and crying and pain will be no more;
when peace and joy shall reign.

And I will rejoice like the Magdalene
on that glorious Resurrection morning, proclaiming,
“I have seen the Lord!”

dedicated to Maria
with love and prayers,

Deborah Beach Giordano
© July 21, 2009

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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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