Unexpected Consolation

Clasped hands

And the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces.— ISAIAH 25:8 [NASB]

From the ledge next to the hospital room’s huge window, I could see Baltimore’s skyscape. The plan was to stay all day with my dad. I’d brought my laptop, some almonds and chocolate, a book to read. I was too scattered and anxious to do much of anything, though. The book peeked out of my bag, its red-haired protagonist and her hawk looking at me. Hawkmistress by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

My dad lay on the hospital bed, eyes closed, breathing steady. He was unresponsive and hadn’t been awake for two days. His hair was longer than I’d ever seen it and needed a good trim. When I was growing up, he’d introduced me to Marion Zimmer Bradley and the world of Darkover. Reading was a love we shared, something that he and my mom had both fostered in us.

I had an idea. I hopped off the ledge and dragged a chair next to my dad’s bed. I pulled out Hawkmistress and opened to the spot I’d last read. I reached under the blanket for Dad’s hand. It was clammy, but I held it and began to read aloud. Slowly at first, and then more steadily.

I felt a calm settle over me. My dad had told us stories when we were little, and even though he wasn’t alert, I could still be with him, like he’d been with us.

Today's Prayer:

God, when I’m at my wits’ end, help me listen to your quiet voice and find comfort.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts