More and more I look to God and His timing and try to listen and answer when He calls. Earnestly I listen to hear His voice and when He says, “they need you”, I try to respond. Sometime not even knowing what someone needs.
Last week I awakened. I remembered that I had a dream. The details I cannot tell you. But I knew the people. A great-aunt. Cousins. Was it a still small voice calling? How do I respond to a dream that I do not recall the details. A simple text. I sent a simple text just to say, “you are on my mind and I am praying for you today”. The response….”we are in the hospital, but things are getting better, going home with hospital bed”. I stared at the phone. The hospital? I took a moment to pray. I sent a simple prayer. A thank you came in reply. It was not much. But I thanked God for the opportunity to pray. A few days later, a phone call. “We are home now, a hospital bed and hospice”. Silence. Words. I need words. “That is good”, I say. “I would like to come and visit”. Plans made for Monday.
It’s not far up the road, an hour and half of my time to drive. A sweet friend accompanies me. To a place where no family member of her own lays in the hospital bed. Just company, companionship, a friend. Is she listening to the His voice? Earnestly listening? We sit in the living room for an hour, talking, catching up, while the hospice nurse surveys the patient and makes a plan of care. Finally, he is gone. A daughter says to a mother, “what do you think, do you like him”? She says, “I wasn’t sure… at first…he is a believer…we’ll see”. A believer. I knew. A Christ follower. My heart was warm. How did she know in one hour? What did she say? What did he say? Oh, to be a fly on that wall. Is she listening to His voice? Earnestly listening?
It’s time. I walk from the couch, through the kitchen, to the room, once living room, now bedroom. Hospital bed. Warm sunlight. Closed eyes. Much thinner than the last time I saw her. Frail. I touch her hand, see her not recognize my voice, not respond to my name. For the first time I am unknown to one who shared so much love with me as a child, as a young women.
Is she listening? Is He still speaking to her heart?
We walk away. All I was able to say was that it was a bright and sunny room. A look. A silence. A question. “What do you think?”, her daughter asks. One nurse to another. One loved one to another. What does that question mean? I say little. She whispers, “I never thought mama would be like this. I pictured her vibrant, and full of energy, active in her church and community”. I state the obvious, “She lost that long ago”. “I don’t understand why the end of life is like this, why it is so hard”.
But still we trust. We listen, sometimes struggle to hear His voice and then earnestly try to respond.
Following is not always easy. Not always clear. Following requires us to let someone lead, to trust in their plan. To know that when our plea is lifted and the answer seems strange that there is still a plan.
A few days before I arrived, over the phone I whispered, “we have to trust that He knows best”. A whisper back, “I think I know what’s best, but I still trust”.
“Even if He doesn’t do what we beg, we are still His beloved.
Even if He doesn’t, He still is.
Even if He doesn’t do what we will, His will is still right and His heart is still good and the people of God will not waver.
Real prayer has eyes on Christ, not the crisis.
Even if He doesn’t – He does give enough — Himself.
Even if He doesn’t – He does still love us.” Ann Voskamp
Home. I sit again. To listen. To wonder. What will He say to me this time? Who will He send me to? Who will he send to me? Will I hear? Be still, be still, be still my child and know that I am God.