Saturday, April 07, 2012

Saturday, 04/07/12

Psalms: 95, 88,27
Old Testament: Lam 3:37-58
Gospel: Rom 8:1-11
New Testament: Heb 4:1-16
The LORD is my light and my salvation—
   whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
   of whom shall I be afraid?”
(Psalm 27)

Dad is sick again.  He has a persistent cough.  No matter what he does, he can’t seem to shake it.  He is also losing weight, and he is losing it rapidly.  With coolness and an air of nonchalance, he goes about his day, fixing, organizing, cleaning, running errands, and eating his favorite foods.  I see his daily actions as the equivalent of a “nesting instinct,” but one in anticipation of an ending as well as a beginning.

Dad speaks freely of dying.  He openly says he isn’t afraid.  He says God has blessed him in huge ways, and that God continues to bless him every day in small, almost imperceptible, ways.  He calls these, “milagros pequeños,” “little miracles.” 

Dad prays often, and his faith is strong.  Recently, he did admit to worrying about leaving Mom, his wife of 61 years.  “What will she do without me?” he said.  Almost immediately his thoughts and words turned to God.  He remembered how, 74 years ago, God came to the aid of a 12 year old orphaned, impoverished, and uneducated Mexican boy.  “Eso fue un gran milagro.” he said, “That was a great miracle.”  That memory was enough to ease his fears, enough to remind him to simply trust God.

I’ve watched Dad all my life.  I’ve watched and I’ve listened.  What Dad lacked in education, he made up in wisdom.  What he lacked in formal training, he made up with hard work and determination.  By watching Dad live his life, I learned to value hard work, honesty, and patience; and I learned the importance of kindness and compassion.

Now, as I watch Dad inch his way toward God, it is not a fearful, stooped and frail body that I see; I see one respectfully bowed in faithful prayer, complete trust, and quiet anticipation.  Dad is not afraid, and neither am I…..but I will miss him dearly.

Heavenly Father, I place all my fears at the foot of the cross. 


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