The Family

The Family

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Is It Well With My Soul?

The cool fall morning air greeted me as I walked to my car on a Wednesday morning several weeks ago. I accomplished everything on my to-do list at work. I was going home to see my children. A great song played on the radio. As I drove down the parking garage ramp I had the distinct feeling that all was right with the world and life was good.

I should have known that feeling was an omen. An omen to warn me that no, everything was not all right.

About an hour after getting home my cell phone rang. When I saw my brother’s name on the screen I knew something was wrong. It was too early for him to call to chat on a weekday.

As he told me what was happening I felt the weight of days, weeks and years seeking to crush me. This situation that we had been dealing with for so long desired nothing more than to bring me to the pits of despair. 

The weeks since have been a blur. There’s been anger, tears, pity, disappointment, sadness, embarrassment, shreds of hope and most of all, a strange sense of peace, that peace of God that passes all understanding.

It may seem to some I am writing about death. In a way it is about death, but not a physical one. It’s more about the culmination of a life lived poorly and how the horrible choices some make lead them out of themselves and into the depths of a loneliness so intense that their departure from reality brings the grief of death for those closest to them.

So in my sorrow and struggles these past few weeks, it is only through my surrender to God in the face of what is happening that I seem to be functioning. It is through the release of desiring to have any type of control in this situation, which I do not have any control of at all, that I feel his hand. It is through my desire to seek him that I hear most clearly.  

I hear the words of Brother George who often preaches on the dark-nights-of-the -soul moments as he recites James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”

I hear the words of my mother-in-law ringing in my ears telling me to pray for each day, each hour, as it comes.

I hear the words of the hymn Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee , “Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away.”

I hear the words of Psalm 121:
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

I hear the words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “More things are wrought by prayer
than this world dreams of.”

I hear the words of Walt Whitman from the “The Wound Dresser” that we saw exiting the DuPont Circle Metro in Washington DC a few weeks ago:
“Thus in silence in dreams' projections,
Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals;
The hurt and wounded I pacify with soothing hand,
I sit by the restless all dark night - some are so young;
Some suffer so much - I recall the experience sweet and sad...”

I hear the words of Luke 21:19, “In your patience you will possess your soul.” 

And I hear the words of Solomon as I read them aloud to my children from Proverbs 3:7-8, "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones."

No comments:

Post a Comment