Wednesday, May 9

B-sides on Time - Take 3

I recently spent some time visiting a young woman in a hospital bed. She'd gone into labor with her first child and delivered a still-born boy. I was at a loss for words. So was she. I just tried to stand there in the sadness with her and the father, resisting the temptation to leave early, because for me it was awkwardly uncomfortable.

And tonight I'm going to the funeral of a friend's grandfather. I have Moses' song on my mind again. When I was in college I scribbled this verse on a piece of paper and put it by my light switch:

Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

I live as if these minutes, hours, and moments are all mine. I even live as if I'm entitled to them. But then an untimely death makes us wake up to life.

I'm desperate to live myself into the words of Moses' song. (I love the idea of really singing for joy and being glad all of my days.) Sometimes, though, I don't need songs. Sometimes I just need direct words, or a borderline rebuke. Ol' James is always good for that:

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
James 4:14

(Street Art Photo: Tania.Paz)


lisa said...

Nelly, to "stand there in the sadness" is the best thing you can do. That's one of the many reasons I like you, you know where to stand and when. You are a good stander to my little family :-)

Arianna said...

I think you are a good listener too, dear one.