A flower quickly fading…

Casting Crowns is a band with really thought provoking songs, I really enjoy meditating on their lyrics.  They have a song especially poignant to me right now.  It’s called “Who am I?”  And it goes a little something, or exactly like, this:

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
And You’ve told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
And You’ve told me who I am
I am Yours

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
And You’ve told me who I am
I am Yours

I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
‘Cause I am Yours
I am Yours

Today I visited my friend in the hospital who is the flower in this song. She is truly fading, all too quickly. She is beautiful and as frail and fragile as the softest petals of the delicate iris and yet, as strong as the sunflowers which sustain the rain and keep reaching their heads to the sun. She knows she is God’s child and yet she feels completely alone. She has been surrounded by friends who honestly love her and care for her, and who have shown her love both physically with acts of random kindness, meals and cleaning and financial aid and spiritually with prayer and fellowship. And she remains detached. Thankful for the help but, always distant. Gracious to a fault but, always self deprecating. There have been many other ways she has been reached out to and because of her own challenges, she remains locked in a prison of her own making, unable to escape. She has experienced moments of clarity and reprieve from her dungeon of despair and deep disappointment, but never escape. There is a storm of merciless pain raging inside her and try as I might, I can’t break through to truly dissipate it. It’s been almost ten years of showing her how much she is truly loved and I have been through many emotions myself. Why won’t she accept the help? How can it possibly be better to stay with her known state of constant anxiety than to settle in the arms of peace and solitude? Why can’t she see the end result of this journey she is on and understand how much bigger it is than just her? What about her kids? Is she aware to any degree of being selfish by being so self absorbed by her own pain, she can’t see what’s happening to her children? She’s so overwhelmed but she doesn’t have to be, she can rise above all of this! She can, she will, she has to! And, as it turns out, she cannot see, she cannot rise, she cannot muster the will to see beyond the present day, perhaps even beyond the present hour. All I can do is pray.

I don’t mean that haphazardly or to dismiss the power of prayer. I know I am joining in with dozens of other voices in constant appeal, winding their way together, weaving a beautiful protective shroud of peace and God’s will in her life to be made clear. What do I pray for, what is left to hope for? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” That is from Hebrews, chapter 11. How do you comfort a tortured soul? How do you reassure a soul she is loved when she stopped believing it a long time ago? How do you prove to someone they are a treasure when they can’t see past the trash heaped in their own life? How do you prove to someone they are worthy of love when long ago they chose to listen to the negative talk others subjected them to and adopted it as their own self image? I know when I pray, it has the power to synthesize all of these thoughts and lift them to a caring God who loves her more than I ever could! I don’t know why this is happening but, I know it will be used to God’s glory. I don’t say that lightly either. I am deeply saddened by my friend’s condition and I wept silent tears as I walked into her room and saw her small form drowned in the sanitary white bedsheets of her hospital bed. I was worried as I gently clasped her sweet cold hand and felt the slightest twitch, as she had neither the strength nor control to squeeze back. Pain squeezed my heart in a vice as I waited a minute or longer between asking her questions or making a comment because it took that long for her to form fragments of words, sentences were impossible. As I left, I saw the tears on her face after I leaned over to give her a kiss on her forehead, it was as if I was saying goodbye for longer than just today.

I was there 10 minutes and she was physically and mentally exhausted just in that short time, because it took such an effort to perform tasks we take for granted, like speaking. I left wondering if it would not be kinder for her to slip into a peaceful eternal sleep where she would feel no more pain and her children could mourn a much beloved mother rather than struggle to hold on to a life she sees so point in living? And I immediately felt remorse and a strange pang of guilt for wanting anything less than life for my dear, sweeter than anything fragile friend. She told the nurse I was her best friend ever. She said I looked like an angel hovering over her bed. Will those be the last words I hear from her? I don’t feel like a best friend, I feel like I’ve failed her. I have spent years racking my brain, wondering why I could never find a way to break through, knowing there must be some way I have missed that would have worked.

There is a saying which states if we knew how powerful our thoughts were, we would never think a negative thought again. It is so very true! Yet, our very nature leads us to second guess ourselves, to believe the worst people (who do not know us as well as we know ourselves) say about us and to us! Even worse, heaven help those who pay us a compliment! Too many of us automatically question the motive behind the compliment. Was there sarcasm, did they smirk or smile? Are they setting me up? They couldn’t possibly be sincere. What happened to simply saying: “Thank you.” and smiling graciously? If you relate to this post on either side, I hope you have a friend to talk to who prays for you and listens to you and loves you unconditionally. I have very few people I get to deeply share my life with, and that’s enough for me, hence the introvert part of this blog. If you don’t have someone, I encourage you to find someone you can trust, and if it’s more comfortable to vent to a stranger, feel free to share with me.

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2 thoughts on “A flower quickly fading…

  1. klguthrie says:

    The depth of your kindness and caring never ceases to inspire me.

    • Suz says:

      Thank you, a little kindness goes a long way and yet people spend so much effort being just the opposite. Or worse, indifferent.

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