On Monday I lit a candle and prayed about Faith, Hope and Love. It went something like this; “Let our Love keep burning when Faith and Hope flicker.” A beautiful prayer…
Except that my innermost being was saying something more like this. Ahem.
“shit, shit, shit. F***”
So, I guess that should be filed away with my other not so beautiful, and yet honest, prayers.
I also said to God, “I have nothing. And I have everything.” I didn't understand that statement but it felt real, and it kept coming up throughout the week.
I had nothing and everything when my family sat together grieving, crying, and praying. When we called each other to see “how it was going,” and when other people outside of our immediate family asked to come and to BE there. You realize how many people you have when you really need them.
Later in the week I walked with a dear friend. We were talking about singleness, and circling a reservoir while the stars and glow of city lights came out to illuminate the sky. It was dimly lit, and I kept tripping over the uneven asphalt. A barn owl slowly swiveled its head towards us, startled, and then glided slowly away into the California scrub oaks. We fell silent. The things we didn't have flitted from our minds as effortlessly as a five foot wingspan opening into the cool darkness. We may have had “nothing,” but we also had everything, every potential and every dream.
Then, today during a long first visit, a new patient, a new life and a new family full of grief, "nothing and everything" circled back again. My patient was unable to speak, but tapped her long nails, manicured two days ago- before her debilitating and sudden illness, into the palm of my hand, and then squeezed. I felt her squeezing my heart, not just my hand, and I bent over to whisper her name. I had nothing to give to her, no understanding of the mystery of death, but somehow felt that I had everything. I could just sit and BE there with her.
After nearly a week of nothing and everything I have decided that love does burn on. It courses through our veins as we reach out and are real with the people around us. THIS LOVE is Jesus’ love that bled out of His hands, feet and side. This love knows what loss feels like. This love is still waiting. So, even though Faith and Hope took a hit this week, and even though we can feel the sadness and grief pouring out of open and surrendered hands, Love remains.
At least, I think it does.
And in the meantime, I'm still burning my candle.