I've been rather distracted this week with prayer and concern for two special people. On Monday I received the news that a former student from my Advanced Writing course two years ago at our homeschool co-op Class Day had a serious health setback, at only age 20. Married only last Saturday to the brother of another former student, Michelle enjoyed her wedding day thoroughly. But at the hotel Saturday night, she had a stroke. By Tuesday the doctors determined that a benign tumor in her heart was the culprit, so she will be transferred to Scripps La Jolla for open heart surgery in the near future, once she is stabilized after the stroke. I've heard no news since Tuesday, but have continued in prayer for Michelle's complete recovery and for peace for her new husband, Nick, and their families.
On Wednesday afternoon my mother called me from Hawaii. My parents were spending their usual eight weeks in their tiny condo in Waikiki, accompanied by my 12 year old niece. Dad had chest pains for a few days, went to Urgent Care who cleared him after a normal EKG, and finally after three days of pain, my mom talked him into an ER visit. The doctors discovered a blockage and planned to place a stent on Thursday--which was unsuccessful because the artery was too blocked, and they found a second blockage as well. So today, Friday, my dad underwent a double bypass surgery. All three of us "kids" offered to fly over to be there with Mom, but she refused us--unless Dad's condition worsens. The surgery was successful today, and he's in the ICU overnight and will go home from the hospital next Wednesday; he should be well enough to fly home by their planned date of June 7.
So, needless to say, I've been a bit distracted, and I slid into the wooden chair in the dining room of Victoria House with a sigh of relief, desperately needing the little oasis of the Anglican Morning Prayer, Healing Service, and Holy Eucharist. Father was running a few minutes late, so we managed to not miss a single second of the service today--a real blessing as we prayed from the 1928 Book of Commom Prayer, prayed Psalms, read Scripture, prayed for Michelle, my dad, and others who need the healing grace of God as well as for the many doctors, nurses, and health care workers who treat and tend the sick on a regular basis. The Nicene Creed brought peace to my heart, as did the Confession and the Collects for Peace and Grace. I felt tension ease in my neck and shoulders as I relaxed into His Word, taking solace in the Word of God prayed through the Book of Common Prayer.
After the service while J took his guitar lesson from Father, I pulled out a small pad of lined paper and jotted the first words that came to mind. I don't know if they make a good poem--I rather doubt it, in fact. But they are the words that flowed from me in this time of release after the service, when I allowed thought to come and find a place to nestle in, make itself at home.
Earth Day (A Day Late)Copyright 2010 by Susanne Barrett
As Isaiah envisioned the Lord,
seated on His throne,
surrounded by worshiping heavenly host,
so I see Him, too--
enthroned atop snowy mountains,
strewn with rounded boulders
and shaded in hazy purple-gray.
His world greens with the new life
enfruiting blossoms flutter on apple trees,
ruby Eucharist cups of tulips in bloom.
Every day is Earth Day here,
created for our joy and our remembrance
of Him who lovingly placed each star
against blue-black skies--
who hold our spinning planet
between His careful palms,
gently breathing breezes
across its beloved surface:
.....His tears our seas,
.....His anger our storms,
.....His sighs our winds,
.....His joys our rainbows--
reminders of His promise
to our human race millenia ago.
April 23, 2010