An Authentic, Sometimes Gritty, and Always Hopeful Blog for All Who Live with Severe Physical Pain

Monday, August 15, 2011

Comforting Presence in Pain

The essence of faith is to be sure of what you hope for and to believe in what you do not experience with your natural senses.  Yet, God seems very real to me, and at a few times, his realness has overwhelmed me.  I’d like to share with you one of these experiences.  It occurred the morning of my dad’s death…

My dad, who lived with a passion for comforting others during his journey with cancer,  now arrived at the end of his journey after 2 years. He had chosen to die at home.  We were thankful that he did not suffer for a long time, however, in his final days he was wracked with pain.  Even for these few days, it was gut-wrenching to stand by helplessly, while this man we adored thrashed and moaned in pain. 

The night before he died, I stayed close by, singing to Dad from an old hymnal, while he labored for each breath.   Around 5:30 a.m. Dad appeared to finally be resting, so I walked out onto their back deck, to gather my strength.

 I gazed up to see a few stars still twinkling  in the black sky , that was barely beginning to show hints of a deeper blue, and within a few moments to a sapphire blue color, under which a shadow of clouds was barely visible in the dawning light.  The contrast of the stars in the distant darkness, and the whisp of clouds in the coming dawn, offered a three-dimensional view of the sky I have never witnessed before.  It was both profound and majestic,  as though I was gazing up into Heaven itself.

I began to cry, as I looked up and prayed,

“Lord, God Almighty, have mercy on us.  Please, this day, come and take my dad away from his body of death and fly him beyond those clouds, through that blue, pass those stars, and onto your heavenly home!” 

I leaned on the rails of the deck praying.  As I did, it felt as though a very heavy coat was being lifted from my shoulders, replaced by a strong presence of love. It is hard to describe--love like I have never known surrounded me from head to toe.  I felt someone was right there with me—someone I could trust with my whole life---holding me and assuring me that everything would turn out okay.  In just a few passing heartbeats, I was assured that Heaven is real and that Dad was going there soon. I also sensed something else:  Dad’s suffering was serving another purpose that I did not understand, and was not privy to understanding at that point.

It only lasted a short while. The presence slipped away from me like a pleasant dream from which I did not want to awaken just yet.  I squeezed my eyes closed, trying to bring it back, to no avail.  Whatever had happened was over.    

I returned to dad’s side, comforted and assured that Dad would be okay, and would be going to heaven soon.  He died peacefully just a few hours later. 

Four months later, I developed a serious pain disorder, beginning my own journey into suffering.  I've no doubt that "The Presence" was from God, not only to comfort me then, but also to provide me courage in my own journey with suffering, adding to my faith. 

My faith is real.  I don't have anything unusual.  Please don't mistakenly think I am some kind of  “strong woman of faith”.  (If you lived  with me, you would know I am NOT.)  I am just a common woman who lives with the grace of an uncommon God.

I hope this posting might provide something worth pondering about for you, my fellow sojourners, as we seek to live well despite pain--

Until Next Time--

Judi 

3 comments:

  1. I have never had this kind of experience. I think God cares about me but is not a part of my living life each day. I don't even have a bible. Maybe I should try to read some of that.
    Jane

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  2. Jane- Thank you for your candor. I am sure that many who read this posting, will relate. I also remember clearly being where you are. I never want to sound "preachy" because. like I have written, I do not have this great wealth of spiritual wisdom, and I have to ask for forgiveness for my awful mistakes more than thank God for the wonderful things he has lead me to! Since you mentioned the bible, though, may I say when I started to read it with a desire to understand it, it began to speak to me in a way that I can't explain, but was very real? If you are willing, try reading the book of John. It's where I started.

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  3. P.s. I forgot you said you didn't have a bible. Let me know if you need help getting one. I would not recommend you reading the King James Version, but a newer one like the New International Version, or the New King James Version.

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