Before Surgery - 1975

It's hard to be patient, Lord,
I'm trying -- really I am,
But I would that tomorrow were here and gone;
Then the waiting would be over.

I know that You are near,
I've heard Your voice,
And felt Your peace.

Then, suddenly,
the icicles of doubt surround me,
And fear beclouds my mind,
And I panic -- for a moment.

But with infinite tenderness and understanding,
I feel Your arms around me,
Holding me close,
letting me rest my tired head
upon Your chest,
The while You softly tell me once again,
"It's all right, child,
everything will be all right."

And soon my strength returns.
I breathe deeply of Your wondrous power.
I think of mountains
standing tall against the winter's blast;
I hear the sea and know its mighty depth;
I see the stars and try to grasp
something of Infinity.

And You are all of this and more,
For You are life itself -- and love --
And You love me.
I'm O.K. now, Lord.
I love You, trust You,
and I'll wait in peace,
knowing You are waiting with me, too.

The Diagnosis

It's cancer, Lord --
I guess You know --
Yet I feel strangely quiet,
Unafraid, serene,
Even filled with joy,
The kind of joy Your Presence brings.

I feel Your love, my Lord,
Once again I hear You softly whisper,
"It will be all right, my child."

I feel a gentle arm across my shoulder --
now and then,
ephemeral, but very real --
You're walking close beside me, Lord,
I feel You there,
And I know You'll be there, too,
every step of the way,
So how could I be afraid?

Whatever comes, my Lord,
though there be suffering ahead,
I feel so safe in saying,
Your will be done!

Thank you, dear Lord,
Thank you so very much.

Message from an Illness

It's over, Lord!
The chemotherapy, the surgery,
and the weeks of radiation.

I am so grateful, Lord,
for you were there with me
through every day.
I knew no fear,
I left it all with You
and went about my life
confident that what You would send
Would be the best for me.

And You made it, oh, so easy, Lord.
I suffered very little,
But, rather, felt so safe, so close to You.
Once again You told me it would be all right
and it is.
How do I thank You, Lord,
for helping me to grow through all of this?

I don't know what the future holds, my Lord,
but I am not afraid.
I know --
You will be with me on this earth
and when it's time,
You'll call me home
to serve You in another world.

'Till then...
Please, keep me close to You.

After Surgery

I walked through the valley
of the shadow of death, my Lord,
And there was no fear,
no panic.
Just a strength and serenity that enfolded me
like the blanket a loving mother
wraps around her child.

I knew You were there, Lord.
I couldn't pray with words,
But my heart was much in tune with You,
and I knew everything was all right.

I don't know how to thank You, Lord.
I'm better now,
but things are changed.
It's as if a whole new world has opened up.
Your words have taken on new meaning,
And things that seemed so vital once
have lost their glow.

It's almost as if Eternity
for just one moment
opened wide her door
And this life suddenly lost its enormity!

Lord, help me hold this vision.
My heart is overwhelmed by Your great love,
my cup is truly overflowing,
And I want to dwell in Your house, Lord,
now and forever!

Heart Attack

The chapel was so quiet, Lord,
I felt Your presence there,
And, oh, I needed You!

I sat alone
through the long, long night,
praying over and over,
Please, don't let him die!

And as the hours crept by
I lived again
the joys and sorrows of the vanished years.
We shared so much,
I couldn't think of life without him.
Even when he had to be away,
I felt his love,
his hand in mine.

He's been such a good father, too, Lord,
So supportive of us all --
generous, thoughtful,
kind, and fun.
And even when we disagreed --
as we were prone to do,
we're both so positive --
There was no anger in our hearts.

We always felt
You made us for each other,
And our love was born of love for You.
I need him, Lord,
please, make him well!

And when the night was over
And he smiled at me,
what joy and gratitude I felt!

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart.

After Mother's Death

She is dead, Lord,
And this hurt is filling
every corner of my heart,
every moment of the day
and the night.

It casts a shadow
over all the beauty of the day
and makes the stars
more distant in the night!

I should rejoice --
she is with you!
My faith repeats the words
my heart rejects.

I need her, Lord
her guidance,
her strength and courage,
and her patience.
She was my model --
and now she's gone.

Help me to give her up to You,
to know You care
for both of us.
Help me to know one day I'll meet again
the one I loved so dearly here,
The one You loaned to me
to give me life!

Stay close, dear Lord,
I feel so all alone;
I hurt so much!

For Dad

This would be his birthday, Lord.
Wish him Happy Birthday for me, please,
and tell him that I love him.

It was so long ago,
I was very young when You took him home,
But I can still remember
the angry disbelief,
the awful hurt,
and then the tears.
And for so long afterward,
there was the loneliness,
the emptiness,
the unrealness
of life without him.

One never really can forget,
but the pain does go away --
in time.
And as I learned of You, Lord,
I learned that he is safe
and one day I'll see him again
And know him as my Dad.

But for tonight, Lord,
please, tell him I remember,
and I still miss him very much!