Living in the Shadow…


Living in the Shadow….Psalm 23

On the evening of Christmas Day I found myself in the emergency room, with my dad in yet another health crisis.  After almost 4 days in the local hospital, he was transferred to a hospital 90 miles away.

He was hospitalized for 30 days and I lived most of my days in the room with him. When I wasn’t at the hospital, I slept and rested at a friend’s house a few blocks away and spent weekends with family for a bit of a respite.

This time he wasn’t able to recover like the many times before and I had the heart-wrenching decision to make to bring him home to a local long term facility on comfort measures. Two weeks have passed and tomorrow he is transferring to yet another facility, supposedly better equipped to care for him.

The unexpected twists and turns have thrown me off balance, exhausted me beyond anything I have ever experienced, and caused me to rant and yell at my God….and cry alot. 

I am living in the valley of the shadow of death and trying to live out the other parts of my life in the light. I have discovered I am mortal, human, fragile, angry, strong and weak, terrified at times…and unable to control my dad’s journey to eternity. I had a friend say to me today….”the end of our lives is sometimes portrayed as a sunset….it’s not always a sunset.” This is no sunset…. 

My life will go on…but my dad’s is coming to an end. I came across this scripture a couple of day’s ago and it gave me pause to smile and grab on to a little grace and peace. It is from the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15.  My dad is a Prodigal.  He lived most of his life seeking the pleasures of this world and the pleasure of his flesh.  He paid a high price….But he eventually made decisions to live differently and make peace with those he had wounded as best he could.

I believe his Heavenly Father sees him, his pain and suffering, and is running towards him with a welcome and love unlike any other.  

“So he got up and went to his father.  But while he was still a long way off his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him;
he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
Luke 15:20