Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lord, come quickly

I had referral to see a patient. Words that were said made me believe this one was terminal. "You will see when you get there."

Should I accept it? It would at least take an hour and a half one-way to get there. It was out of the way. More than likely, it wouldn't be an easy, in and out appointment. When you took into consideration mileage, wear and tear on the car, time away from home, it wasn't worth it. On paper.

The answer to my question came before it was hardly asked. There was no doubt. Of course I would accept the referral.

I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was the voice on the phone. One that sounded weak. Tired. The face I pictured to match the voice was much different. At a glance, you wouldn't necessarily assume death loomed. Carefully executed movements indicated discomfort. Extremities swollen 4 to 5 times their normal size screamed of pain. It was only when you looked into those eyes that you could see. They matched the voice.

I did my training while listening to the words of someone who has been fighting a battle. Talk of being "completely healthy just 18 months before." Or so it seemed. During treatment for a freak accident, something was found. "There was a knot that just didn't feel right."

Within 2 days, the stage was known. 4. Treatment began quickly, doing what was recommended. Unfortunately that treatment only seemed to make the cancer angry. It worsened. Tumors began to form, one after another. On the surface of the skin. Excruciating pain. Like no pain ever felt. Doctor after doctor. Experimental treatment gave hope for a few months. But the tumors returned with a vengeance. "There is nothing more we can do for you."

"If you were my spouse, I would take you home, consult hospice and beg the Lord for mercy." Words from the a believing doctors mouth.

And there my patient sits. At home, no hope left on this earth. Her only hope is one that much of this world cannot understand. Despite pain that sends a person to their car in the middle of the night so children and spouse can't hear. Through the humiliation that comes with bathing multiple times a day to wash away the scent of cancer so you can bare to be with yourself, much less others. When darkness falls and Satan appears to be hardest at work, using fear, anxiety and unbearable pain to keep heavy eyes from rest. Through literal hell on earth, my patient claimed the sovereignty of the Lord, God Almighty. "I might not feel Him at times, but He says he will never leave me."

I felt like I was on sacred ground last night. I was the one sent to provide a patient with a service. Yet, I walked away from that house having been served. I was once again reminded, thank you, LORD... THIS IS NOT MY HOME . Reminders are all around me. Disease. Illness. Death. For the first time in my life, I genuinely meant the words.

Lord, come quickly.

Keli speaks on this topic so eloquently in this post
Different story. Same conclusion.

Maybe listening to the lecture on suffering (the one I mentioned last night) helps put some of this into perspective. I don't know. Someone of it we will never understand or comprehend on this side of of Heaven. So I will just say it again, Lord, come quickly.

My intention is not to be a downer. There will be happy posts about my sweet babe once again. But this is the stuff that matters in this life. While I love to share the joys of raising my boy, when the Spirit moves, you just have to go with it...


Sarah said...

What beautiful writing and powerful! Thank you for sharing your experience.

Jill Fields said...

Man o man...this is the real stuff.

I have pretty similar experiences at work, and everytime, I have to call my mom on the way home just to talk it out. As Juli often says about her family, "We're just looking for Jesus in the clouds." That rings true today. But, oh what a gift that we can literally look forward to! Those roller coasters (my interpretation of Heaven) are going to be SOOO fun!

In the meantime, we have each other...good friends and encouragers like you, Danielle! Thank you for sharing!

Sonja said...

Powerful. I actually sincerely prayed those same words just last week. Your post just reiterates them.

keLi said...

Wow, Danielle. What a post you have written here -- so very powerful, to bear witness to this.

Can I just say? I love to catch up with you here because your boy is A-DORABLE and your discipline to write updates on his life each and every week floors me...

But also? I love your heart, and I feel like, when you say that you pray for Sonya and Drae, you really mean it.

Thank you -- for having the courage to write posts like this, and for having the compassion to lift my friends so faithfully in prayer.