Bringing the blessing
Sunday September 06th 2009, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Crohn's flare,Friends,Life

I spoke in church briefly today about a man from a local ward (congregation in Mormon speak), not ours but the next one over, whose volunteer assignment is to offer the Sacrament on the Sabbath to members of our church who are hospitalized at Stanford.

And thus a month ago he found himself with a list of names and room numbers in hand, walking into my room for the fourth time this year, where, there I was, IV and all all over again.  He exclaimed, It’s YOU! How ARE you!

Much better as of right now, and thanks.

Such a simple act: kneeling by my bedside.  The heartfelt prayer.  A little bread.  The second prayer.  A little water.

Such a powerful act: coming to one who cannot come to you.  Declaring by how he lives that there are no strangers now, only friends.  Being with another in their extremity, completely present for them in the moment, offering a shared faith in the light and love of God that surpasses all such circumstances.  He brought to me, in his own way and fulfilling his own part, a healing.

Looking back at all that I went through this past year, I said today, the pain simply falls away: all that is left is the moments of light.  The love.  God’s.  His. The doctors’. The nurses’. Every person who cared.  It is made so visible by their choices in those circumstances.

I still don’t remember that man’s name.  But I will always know that warm smile.

14 Comments so far
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What a true blessing for you both. Thoughtfulness combined with selflessness is sadly rare today. We should all aspire to be remembered for such kindness. “Looking back at all that I went through this past year, I said today, the pain simply falls away: all that is left is the moments of light.” – everyone could learn something from that statement!

Comment by TripletMom 09.06.09 @ 7:53 pm

How wonderful that the blessing could come full circle, with your sharing it all with the congregation today. Hugs!

Comment by Barbara-Kay 09.06.09 @ 9:17 pm

Thank you for sharing that. I don’t think you were reading my blog when my grandmother was dying, but that last Communion with her was one of the most powerful, spiritual moments in my life.

Comment by Channon 09.07.09 @ 5:32 am

One could assume that he appreciates the memory of his kindness more than the memory of his name. I, for one, would think such selfless donation of his time comes full circle with your reaction, mentioning it in public, and the one that is being shared on your blog…

The gift of giving… Very powerful.

Comment by Suzanne in Mtl 09.07.09 @ 6:19 am

Oh, this made me cry! It is beautiful, Alison.

Comment by Momo Fali 09.07.09 @ 8:22 am

Visiting the sick — something that can be so troubling for the one who is ambulatory, but so rewarding for the bedridden. Thanks for helping us all to remember this, and that blessings go both ways.

Comment by Leslie 09.07.09 @ 8:47 am

Beyond words.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 09.07.09 @ 10:02 am

Your moments of light have been illuminating for so many. I’m sure your ‘warm smile’ visitor has received as many as he’s given.

Comment by LynnM 09.07.09 @ 10:05 am

Words found after all:
Your experience touches on the core of the greatest fear (and hope) that one can have. A person fears being in such extremity, but they hope that if and when it occurs, such healing encounters will also be available to them.
Most people live for long spaces of time where such moments of need and succor are only brought to mind second hand, through another’s experience. When they are brought home through words such as yours, it brings the importance of connection into bold relief. Connection to another caring person, and connection to the well of spirituality that can live within each of us, though many times ignored on a day-to-day basis. It doesn’t matter a whit what religious or even Atheist path someone follows; spirituality exists within us all.
It can be about connection to God, Goddess, tree, stream, or another human being.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 09.07.09 @ 10:26 am

That is a powerful story! I was especially touched by your remark, “…coming to one who cannot come to you.” You have no idea how much it means to me that you, Richard and Michelle are coming to visit Saturday! It is so difficult for me to get around to visit others where I cannot go with my scooter.

Comment by Don Meyer 09.07.09 @ 12:47 pm

I certainly can relate to all that you have said here….it reaffirms my gratitude as well. Thanks for that…and for being you!

Comment by Sheila E 09.08.09 @ 11:49 am

That the brother will be abundantly blessed for his kindness and service is my prayer. So glad to hear of you getting around better now.

Comment by Judy 09.08.09 @ 2:35 pm

We don’t share a religion, but we share a vision of the sacred in connections with others, I believe. Peace.

Comment by twinsetellen 09.12.09 @ 6:39 am

i’m not religious. Never really have been. But this post brought tears to my eyes. Because it’s not about religion per se. It’s about connecting with others and helping where you can. That is where I feel that many organzied religions have fallen short. They are so institutionalized, you don’t feel like a person. you feel like a cog in the machine. It’s important to remember that the world is made of people. With hurts and needs and wants. Thank you

Comment by Carol 09.15.09 @ 4:58 pm

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