And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:7
Some weeks are just harder than others. This week has definitely been challenging for myself.
While hospice care is filled with many ups and downs, sometimes the combination of highs and lows leaves me at the end of the week, simply numb. This has been one those weeks.
Even this morning as I spend this time writing, and thinking about my own journey, I am also thinking of the final words for a graveside service I will preside over in just a few more hours.
I awoke this morning thinking about the conversation I had with a man who lost his wife just three weeks after his wife was diagnosed and died from cancer. He was then diagnosed two months to the day from his wife's death with his own terminal disease. As I sat and listened to him share about the treatment options his doctor had shared, he looked at me and said, "If I had done any of them, we wouldn't be sitting here talking. I would either be in a hospital somewhere recovering or already dead. Instead I got up this morning, took a ride on my motorcycle as the sun came up, and now I'm sitting here with you."
"I look at it this way. It is a "Win - Win" situation. The longer I live I get to spend more time with my grandchildren. If I die later today, I get to go to heaven to be with my wife."
His outlook on life and death made me think about my own life, and I left his home realizing that is really "Our Story."
Earlier in the week a coworker of mine lost her husband. The team I serve on had the honor of caring for him. It was on that day I was reminded how well hospice workers "compartmenatlize" both life and death situations so that we can go from one patient to the next. It applies not just for hospice workers, it is the way of life for many who struggle to balance work, home, family, and the challanges that the world just seems to bring.
As I listened to Aretha Franklin sing a number of gospel greats this week as I drove from patient home to patient home, and news stories from around the world filled the airways, I was once again reminded that life is always about balance. The idea of balancing mind, body and soul is the journey from struggle, to green meadows and still waters.
It is the balance between road construction and concrete mamoths, to soaring tree tops and clouds that seem to float effortlessly across the sky.
It is allowing the words of "Peace," to be with us, until we are able to surrender the words, "It is well with my soul."
While our balance is really our own journey filled with sacred moments, we are reminded when we are met with numbness to seek out God. To go off as Jesus did to pray, or to be among those who will break bread with us and remind us that we will be okay.
The pursuit of goodness and mercy following after us can only be realized when we take the time to let it happen. When this happens, the numbness begins to fade, and we can then begin to move forward again.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.