Monday, February 4, 2013

Playdates with God: Joy Dance



They come to this place to have their broken parts fixed and the people I work with work hard. They care, they really do.  But when the fixing needs a little nudge or there is no fixing to be done, they come and get me. 

That’s how I end up sitting at his bedside: They told him there was nothing left that they could do. 

I’d met him before—in his sleep. We couldn’t get him to awaken so I sat with his family in the dim light with rain pattering the window. They told me who he is—who he was…what he likes to do…Who he loves. They told me how fast this has all happened.

I listened.

He’s a tall man but his proud frame has wasted into a smallish one. The top of his head is fuzzy with new-growing hair. He keeps rubbing it when he talks to me. No longer asleep, he looks me in the eye. He can’t always find the words; his mind a bit fuzzy. But when he can’t get it out, he just looks at me with a vague smile and points up. 

I smile back. With watery eyes. Because I know exactly what he’s talking about. 

His family is quiet and he keeps reaching for his wife’s hand. The air flows gentle in this place. I ask because I can’t help myself and he smiles again. We pray together. I hold his hand and it is strong and tender. His voice is sure as he leads this familiar conversation. When he is finished, he tells me that he will see me again one day.

We will be dancing with joy, he says.

Will you save me a dance? I ask.

Yes, he says. I will.
 
And when I walk away, I leave something real with him. And I carry something real with me.

Hope is something we hold in our hands.

How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him.  




The Playdates button:





25 comments:

Dawn Paoletta said...

Tender...hanging on to ponder this today- I feel this: Hope is something we hold in our hands...thanks, Laura. Powerfully and gently moving. Bless you in this...bless them in their loss.

OutnumberedMom said...

Your ministry among that family is real, and sweet, and true. What a blessing that moment was. Thanks for sharing it with us, Laura.

Christina said...

Beautiful. What faith, what hope! May we all look forward to that dance. Blessings!

bluecottonmemory said...

I have been there - had the family member - and it is sweet blessing when those that love God carefully listen and minister like that!

Lisa notes... said...

"Hope is something we hold in our hands." Beautiful, Laura. You're holding it, passing it on, sharing it with others. Thanks for sharing it with me.

Linda Stoll said...

these are the conversations that matter most ....

Beth Steffaniak said...

Thanks for sharing such a sweet meeting with all of us, Laura. I'm so glad you were there with him to encourage and be encouraged.

Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk said...

Entering into the dance, with every chance we get, this, sometimes, is the greatest challenge for me. Thanks for sharing this moment of beauty. Do you work as a chaplain, Laura?

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

How does this world live without the eternal hope of Jesus? His hope is enduring. His hope is the only hope with forever attached to it. Thank you for giving this hope to others. You're a beacon.

Megan Willome said...

Your job is such a ministry, Laura.

Diane | AnExtraordinaryDay said...

Laura, this brings back memories of sitting with my parents and my aunt. Tender, sweet, and difficult. I'm grateful that they all knew Jesus. I was privileged to sit with them. I cannot imagine it being your work. Grateful to know that it's your call...the carrier of Hope. How blessed each one is for your ministry as they enter the valley of the shadow.

Nancy Franson said...

There is always, always mercy. There is always, always hope and joy ahead, even in those times and places we most fear and dread. "Save me a dance." Priceless.

Lyli Dunbar said...

Oh, this touched me deeply as we are dealing with a very sick loved one right now. Beautiful.

Beth said...

No words just tears! Much hope!
Blessings

Connie Smiley said...

So powerful and moving

kingfisher said...

What a tender, sensitive telling of your presence --and Jesus' -- in another person's life. So many people would not be able to handle a job like yours. They wouldn't be sensitive enough, or aware enough, or comfortable enough -- or being around those near the end of life would be too distressing. So thankful, Laura, that God has placed you in this gentle ministry. He must be smiling at your willingness to pick up on the signs of concern and offer your compassion and his love.

Love ya, gal!

kingfisher's latest post is "Broken, Shines" at

http://kingfishercrossing.blogspot.com/2013/02/broken-shines.html

Linda Chontos said...

I think, were I ever in that dear man's place, how filled with joy and hope I would feel in your presence. Your words flow from a compassionate heart Laura, and they minister in Jesus' name.

it000016 said...

So beautiful, Laura! Praise God for our blessed hope! Thanks for hosting & God bless!
Laurie
http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

Kendal Privette said...

your writing, quiet really, seeps in and it's beautiful

Jennifer 'Miner' Ferguson said...

It takes my breath away, this piece. Maybe because I imagine joy dancing with my grannie one day.

Hazel Moon said...

Bringing comfort is a ministry and you were the one that was needed. This is such a sweet post and you will be saving that dance!

Sandra Heska King said...

This work you do, it's a sacred work. I'm gentled by your words, by just your presence on this page.

Jody Collins said...

ohhh, Laura. What Sandy King said. This brought tears to my eyes.

Elizabeth Anne May said...

Yes, this.

tinuviel said...

What a precious interchange. As Sandra said, you do have a sacred calling. God has given you a beautiful gift, Laura, one that not many have. It must make Him smile so to see you exercising it even when that brings tears. Well done, sister.