Monday, March 15, 2010

I Will Praise You, LORD

Katie looking at the ocean, Tofino, B.C.
I am supposed to be doing a few other things today (working on Katie's room, organizing some thoughts for Indy, exercising), but right now I want to write this quote down:
"Moses said to God, 'Who am I to go to Pharaoah and bring the people of Israel out of Egypt?' (Exodus 3:11). The Lord answers, 'I shall be with you.' That's all. Simply, I'll be with you! He wouldn't tell Moses how to do it. He doesn't give him a timetable, any directions, simply--'I'll be with you.' (3:12)

"Moses's power is the presence of the Lord. That's all!...God says, simply, I shall be with you. I will do it. Trust me. The directions come as you walk the journey. The word is not fully given until the first steps are taken." - Richard Rohr, The Great Themes of Scripture
This was a comfort to me today, as I am still working on my thoughts of what to share in Indianapolis. I know from experience that this passage is true. God's presence is the ultimate gift of love.

It was also a comfort, as I was reading the daily devotional sent by A Daily Spiritual Seed. In today's readings, the following passage appears:
Responsorial Psalm 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12a and 13b
R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the nether world;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
“Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.”
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I've got to say, this passage was a bit troubling to me this morning, because from where I stand today, it doesn't look like the Lord has rescued Katie. She died, at age 12 and a half, of cancer. Does that sound like being rescued, to you?

But then, I thought, wait a minute. He has rescued me, many times in my life.
And He did rescue Katie, numerous times. He rescued her from sudden death, at the beginning of her illness. She could have died at home, undiagnosed, but we were able to get her into the hospital and into treatment.

He rescued her from the tumor, by making her surgery possible. He rescued her from death during the surgery, by the surgeons' skill, by the generosity of blood donations, and by her own body, which had made additional pathways for her blood to flow around the tumor. He rescued her because her liver did not bleed out, because the tumor was not attached to her heart, but just barely inside of it. He rescued her and brought her back to us. We got to love and nurture her back to health in the ICU, on the surgery ward and finally, at home.

It didn't last, and she did die at the end of 10 months of illness and treatment, but we had those 10 months. I thank God for that! And my enemies have not triumphed over me; I still have God's presence, and the loving relationship with Him that I treasure. He continues to rescue me from despair, one day - sometimes, one moment - at a time. I continue to hope that He will indeed change my mourning into dancing. I will praise you, LORD.

17 comments:

Maggie May said...

To turn your internal forces to keep your thoughts in that direction is a power of spirit I am humbled by.

Maggie May said...

and i love that last picture of Katie, joy!

Elizabeth said...

Maggie said it beautifully -- I, too, am humbled. Your writing is always a gentle reminder to me of so many things. Thank you, Karen.

Karen said...

Those are hard words for me to say, but in my heart I know God has shown great mercy to us. Heaven is our biggest hope and if we didn't have that, all would be lost. I like hearing your praise to God, and I'm working on my own psalm of praise.

I'm still praying for you and Indianapolis. I know you will open your mouth to speak like Moses, and God's words and heart will be expressed. Its very exciting and I will be with you in spirit.
Much love, dear Karen.
The Other Karen

Dean said...

I hope you don't mind hearing more and more people feel humbled by you, your writing, your approach. Touched, too.

I shall be with you. No Microsoft Project needed. Not with us IF we are cool, if we act right, or even if we pray right. Amazing grace.

Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Karen,

Thank you for being who you are, and for sharing what you think. It makes me a better person to read what you have to share. Love you! L in Alaska

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is beautiful and thought provoking. Hugs to you...you will find the perfect words that you need to share in Indy.
I just know it.

KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN 2 LUV said...

All the comments are on the money. Your posts are very often a reminder to sit still and reflect. I love reading your posts regarding passages and God's words, but not always do I feel a reciprocating connection to what I've been taught. Most of the time I do, but not often.

This is one of the times I FEEL your words. It is true that we like to think of rescue in the big picture. When God is really with every tiny step of the way. My heart flipped when you wrote about the surgeon and how Katie was rescued then. It is so important not to forget the smaller ways in which we are lifted up from a despair, an end.

Thank you, Karen.

christine said...

Sweet friend-love your words, your thoughts. The journey has such hope in it. May God fill us with what we don't have and are so dependant on Him for supply. Will hug you good when I finally meet you one day.
love to you.

Allegra Smith said...

I can say with certainty that your entire life is a praise to your God.

Who has no doubts? who has absolute
certainty in this life? it is what we do with them that defines the living prayer that inspires and reaches to those who need it most.

You are blessed and your blessings are shared in a loving and temperate way that allows others to respect you and your beliefs in the same measure you extend that kindness to them. That to me is the greatest praise to any belief we hold dear.

Lakeland Jo said...

you are so positive and such an inspiration X

Mary said...

Karen -- I'm thinking of you as you head off to Indianapolis! I know your words will lend hope to so many others. I definitely believe, as you said in your comment to me, that "those who walk the path can light that path for others". You definitely light the path here, and I know you will do so even more in person.

And I love this beach picture of Katie.

deb said...

Karen,
oh that we could all just look at everything as gift. Without the expectation. With the timelines. Without the self.

You are such an amazing example of trust.

my word for the year btw.

prayers for you as you continue to on this journey.

Kay said...

I think writing this post was time well spent, my friend! : ) And the same goes for me in reading it. Love the pic of Katie too. Stunning.

drw@bainbridge.net said...

Have you seen Joan Chittister's book, Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope? I read about it today on my friend Kim's blog, and it made me think about these last two posts of yours...

ChiTown Girl said...

Happy Sunday Morning, Karen! My beautiful S.C.O.R.E. card, and other goodies, arrived yesterday. Thank you!! It's exactly the ray of sunshine I needed while sitting through a snowstorm. :)

ChiTown Girl said...

Happy Sunday Morning, Karen! My beautiful S.C.O.R.E. card, and other goodies, arrived yesterday. Thank you!! It's exactly the ray of sunshine I needed while sitting through a snowstorm. :)