Thursday, August 28, 2008

Long Days and Restless Nights

I am in Mississippi helping care for my dad this week. He has been ill but seems to be dong okay right at the moment. He is alert, moving around and mostly calm. The days are long as he needs to be watched constantly, but mostly he is having "good days." The late afternoon and evenings get him very restless. The Hospice workers call it "Sundown Syndrome."

This morning about 3:00, my mom woke me up. My dad was saying that he was dying. He said he could see his father who has been gone since 1969. We sat, prayed and sang to him. My brother and sister who live here in town came over and we sat up through the night to see if this was the end or not. He went back to sleep and woke up this morning without knowing that anything had happened. We are quickly learning that this is not a simple and calculated process.

I was amazed at the peace my dad had as he struggled last night. He never moved from the bed, he wasn't restless or afraid. He simply said he was ready to go. It is the first time that I have seen him so calm in the midst of this new part of "life." I am learning to be amazed at many different things that I never expected to see.

In this process I am working through my own emotions and also trying to understand God's plan and design for human life. I have finally grasped a universal truth that humanity has grappled with for thousands of years: God is not small enough to fit into our human brain. His plans are not my plans. His ways are not my ways. And his vision is bigger than mine. For all of that I am eternally thankful.

I don't understand all there is to know about God. I will never know all that can be known about God. But I know these two things beyond any doubt: God loves me (and you) and God is good. With that in mind, the long days and restless nights can be managed.

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