Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
~ Psalm 5:1 - 3
This morning I woke up and began my normal rituals. Showering, shaving, getting dressed, then taking the dogs out, while seeing what new blooms in our garden I have to celebrate. A neighbor just a few doors down from us gave birth to a beautiful daughter yesterday. Her pictures appear on my newsfeed and I begin to imagine her with her siblings, riding her bike one day in the cul-de-sac with the rest of her family where we live. I open the front windows to let the morning air in, and I sit with my coffee and begin to write.
I try to avoid the news, and so I quickly check my work email for the names of my hospice patients that may have died last night, and review new patients that were admitted. It helps me know how to pray, and I take a deep breath.
I am drawn to the words of Emerson, after having spent time talking with staff about "letting go," of yesterday, because, "This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays."
I wish that I could "let go," but yesterday was a difficult day. Filled with conversations with people who are experiencing "feelings of separation," that we are all encountering about now. One of my patients told me it has been, "two months since she has been hugged." A woman from our church, who is blind and lives alone with only a caregiver "checking in," shared of falling, and having to wait on her caregiver to arrive, to "know," just how hurt she was.
It is hard to think about the "waste," when the conversations of yesterday overwhelm the invitations of the new day.
About now, I think we all could use words of assurance that, "things will be okay."
It doesn't need to be headline news, but spoken to our hearts in prayer, on the bus, in the darkened room, down the hallways of hospitals, in the kitchen of a mother who is faced with another day of "teaching from home," and on the streets of a Georgia town where a twenty-five year old black man was senselessly gunned down.
We need the assurance that we can accept the invitation of the new day with hope.
I feel the need to say, "I still believe," as one who is drowning, and then pulled as the water consumes me.
In the 5th Psalm, the writer asks, "Are you listening, Lord? Can you hear my stifled sobs?"
Assurance comes as we search in the dark. Asking God to call us, and that we might have the ability to hear God's voice clearly.
Before the troubles of the day begin to take hold, allow the assurance of God to cling to you.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.