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Waiting on Events

If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears,
Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. — Mark 9:23

Most of the time you like to get calls from old friends and family. Not now. These are the days when you don’t want the phone to ring, or if it does you want it to be a spam call, a call of no import or meaning; a call easily forgotten. Not a call that will always be remembered. Not that. Not now.

Most of the time you enjoy small errands that involve laying in supplies for the minor business of life. Not now. These are the days when you don’t have enough small errands to distract you and so you wander aimlessly around the supermarket and you choose the largest supermarket around so that you have a lot of aisles to wander in without a list, without a need, without a purpose.

Most of the time you like to drive around town and out into the orchards and rivers nearby. These are the days when you don’t drive more than you have to because you find that, at times, you are so distracted by your memories and the events of the last couple of months that you have to pull over because you are not confident in your ability to control the car.

Most of the time you like to stay informed, to stay alert, and so you place your phone by the nightstand. Not now. These are the days when you leave your phone as far away in your tiny suite of rooms as you can lest you be awoken by the news in the small hours of the morning. You tell yourself that the news, should it come, will be the same in the morning as it was in the middle of the night; and that you’ll be more prepared to hear it. Every morning when you wake the first thing you do is to go and look at the phone to see if there have been any calls.

Most of the time you enjoy calling friends and family. These are the days when you send emails lest any call from you upset your friends and family as soon as the phone’s ID screen lights up.

Most of the time you want to know what’s happening in the world at large and in your world in miniature. These are the days you are content to wait upon events.

Most of the time your faith is strong and your belief in The Promise adamantine. These are the days when you have to assure yourself that although the dark and relentless history of man is filled with tragedy for the mass as well as the individual it all moves towards a time, a moment, in which all has a happy ending at last. These are the days when you remember, or know again in the bedrock of your being, that our souls will all rise glorified.

Most of the time you want to remember all that but now, waiting upon events, you keep forgetting all that; you want to say goodbye to all that. No, that’s wrong. It is not that you forget but, no matter what The Promise may be and no matter how much you believe, there are in the end some events of which you can only say, as the poet has said, “I do not approve.  And I am not resigned.”

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • captflee June 8, 2019, 11:59 AM

    Gerard,
    That you have suffered the trials of Job is indisputable. The very little I can add is to do what you can to stay strong. Remember, always, that you are loved, and have friends beyond counting praying for you and yours, and ready to help in whatever ways are available to us.

  • Guaman June 8, 2019, 12:42 PM

    In my opinion, this post was right on – in our high tech days there is just too much background noise and most off the crisis aren’t. Perspective; let us endeavor to never lose it.

  • Richard June 8, 2019, 12:59 PM

    I hesitate to offer this as the circumstances are so intensely personal. Yet, this helped me at an extra-ordinarily difficult time, and it is in that spirit, that it is presented. God bless.

    The Ship

    What is dying
    I am standing on the seashore, a ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
    She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says: “She is gone.”
    Gone!
    Where
    Gone from my sight that is all.
    She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
    The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her, and just at the moment when someone at my side says,
    “She is gone”
    there are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout:
    “There she comes!”
    and that is dying.
    Bishop Brent

  • Vanderleun June 8, 2019, 1:25 PM

    Thank you Richard. And all the others.

  • ghostsniper June 8, 2019, 2:02 PM

    This nibbles deeply around the edge of some things that have been on my mind the past couple of weeks. Thought provoking.

    “The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her,…”

    This is good. Also thought provoking.

  • pbird June 8, 2019, 3:49 PM

    Long time favorite poem.
    Life on this planet seems to be a series of capitulations. Letting go.

  • Hale Adams June 8, 2019, 3:52 PM

    This sounds …… ominous.

    *winces*

    Hale Adams
    Pikesville, People’s still-mostly Democratic Republic of Maryland

  • Kurt Miller June 8, 2019, 3:53 PM

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me;
    Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
    (Psalm 23:4)

    And you are there, Gerard. I pray that you find the comfort to be there and the strength to keep walking. God Bless you today and everyday.

    Kurt

  • Phil in Englewood June 8, 2019, 4:12 PM

    “You and I both know this river will surely flow to an end
    Keep me in your heart and keep your soul on the mend
    I hope you’re haunted by the music of my soul when I’m gone
    Please don’t fly away and find you a new love I can’t face livin’ this life alone
    I can’t bear to think this might be the end
    But you and I both know the road is my only true friend”
    https://youtu.be/AEILwTtWU_A

    “When the last rose of summer pricks my finger
    And the hot sun chills me to the bone
    When I can’t hear the song for the singer
    I can’t tell my pillow from a stone
    I will walk alone by the black muddy river
    Sing me a song of my own
    I will walk alone by the black muddy river
    And sing me a song of my own”
    https://youtu.be/ArFvm_8NTwo

    God bless, Gerard…

  • Eskyman June 8, 2019, 4:14 PM

    Gerard, you and your mother are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Do not go gentle into that good night
    Dylan Thomas – 1914-1953

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  • mary June 8, 2019, 5:10 PM

    Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton, “When I get where I’m going.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xtn-x_5d61w

  • Suburbanbanshee June 8, 2019, 5:28 PM

    Hugs.

    Doesn’t help much. But still.

  • Auntie Analogue June 8, 2019, 5:49 PM

    “Listen to the river sing sweet songs
    to rock my soul….”

  • Splod June 8, 2019, 7:42 PM

    My father-in-law was a man of true faith to the end. And everyone said he was a righteous man, and he was, compared to other men.
    He was in the company of his loving family the day he passed. By providence he and I were alone for a few minutes, the other two dozen family members being briefly occupied with small errands.
    Looking around he noticed this and waved me closer and looking into my eyes asked in a hushed and quivering voice, “Is it true?”
    I gave a small smile and said quietly, “Yes, it is.”
    He lay back and sighed and smiled and said, “Yeah, I thought so.”
    And such is the nature of true faith. The only infallible proof of true faith is continuing faith.

  • David Smith June 8, 2019, 8:45 PM

    Gerard, God bless your Mother, you and everyone close to both of you. You’ve told us often and movingly what a wonderful life she has had, and how she’s blessed everyone lucky enough to know her.
    You’ll all be in our prayers.

  • jwm June 8, 2019, 9:08 PM

    Julie Cork posted this a while back, and I shamelessly swiped it:

    “But our lot is not to change the world, not even for Christ. Rather, all we can do is try to live our own faith in the best way we can. Doing so really does bring about change. And sometimes, when we place our trust in Him, we may be blessed enough to see miracles happen. ”

    Our circles all break. All of them. In the light of Faith we’ll see them all unbroken. So we are promised, and so we must believe.

    JWM

  • PA Cat June 9, 2019, 3:32 AM

    As Hale said above, your post sounds ominous. Sending you a prayer from the service book I’ve used for years; it has upheld me through many of life’s rough patches:

    “O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

    Go out now with good courage, Gerard, knowing that you have many readers keeping you in our prayers. And blessings to your precious mother.

  • Jennifer R. June 9, 2019, 4:38 AM

    Prayers for you, your family and mother going up in South Carolina. Ps. 34:18 – “The LORD is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

  • Nobody Atall June 9, 2019, 4:47 AM

    Hugs and prayers for both of you, Gerard. My mother prepared for Everything … and when she passed away and we went to her file of instructions, Richard’s poem was selected as to be printed on the back of the funeral cards. Mom was a woman of unbelievable faith, grit, energy, and determination, and I miss her every day. But she knew we would remember that reminder.

  • Jim in Virginia June 9, 2019, 4:50 AM

    Gerald, five years after my mother’s death, I still can’t tell you which is worse: the uncertainty of waiting for what you know is inevitable and you fear is much closer than you want; or the grief and loss when that time arrives.
    I do believe that for all of us , every day is a gift; and that for you and your mother, these are holy moments.
    Grace and peace to you.

  • John the River June 9, 2019, 6:18 AM

    Somethings wrong with the screen…it’s all blurry. Not only that but my face is wet.

    In our prayers.

  • Mary Ann June 9, 2019, 6:50 AM

    Prayers.

  • Jeff Brokaw June 9, 2019, 7:03 AM

    Sending up prayers for strength for you and your mother.

  • Lee Webber (leelu) June 9, 2019, 8:09 AM

    Prayers for both of you.

  • Leslie June 9, 2019, 10:35 AM

    Much love

  • Lance de Boyle June 9, 2019, 11:17 AM

    So sorry, Gerard….

    Kaddish
    Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world
    which He has created according to His will.

    May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days,
    and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon;
    and say, Amen.

    May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

    Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored,
    adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He,
    beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that
    are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

    May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
    and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

    He who creates peace in His celestial heights,
    may He create peace for us and for all Israel;
    and say, Amen.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15czWjARsn0

    Lance

  • Marica June 9, 2019, 4:26 PM

    Take care.

  • Joan Of Argghh! June 9, 2019, 7:40 PM

    “More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.”

    Prayers for you and your mom. And thank you for showing us the light in her eyes, the window to her soul. It makes us slightly closer to you in your sorrows and we can truly say, “Lo siento… mucho.”

  • Annie Birks June 11, 2019, 12:00 AM

    I’m Margaret Stadthers daughter. My mom and Lois were friends from when they were kids in Fargo. Lois was moms best friend . They were pretty cute together. How lucky her family and friends were to have that sparkly personality in your lives for so long.

  • Vanderleun June 11, 2019, 8:08 AM

    Thanks for your kind words and deep memories, Annie.

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