Today I spoke with a man who may die soon. I listened as he told me about how he feels ready, and I listened as his wife spoke of their 40 some odd year marriage and some of the things they had done. How they had done many things together, and that everyone who's married and sticks it out will have to go through this, that is, one spouse leaving the other behind. They spoke of the visits with family, talking things through, getting ready for the inevitable.
I've been through people in my church dying before, not many, but a few. It's a weird thing for me. There is a part of me that tries to stay professional, that is listening, sharing what I feel God might want them to hear. To walk with them as much as I can. The other part is incredibly numb. By numb, I mean stunned, unable to think of the ramifications of what this family is going through. Unable to process the range of emotions, the weariness, the pain, the fear of the future.
It's then that I pray like crazy. My deepest heartfelt prayer is that God would use something, anything that comes out of my mouth to be an encouragement and a reminder of where God is. I also pray that the really silly sounding things I must say (I know I must say some weird things, I have no clue what they must feel or are facing) go unnoticed, or at the very least they see the intent behind the words.
If you think of them pray for them. God knows who they are, even if you don't. Cancer is a terrible thing. It really, really is a terrible thing.
Oh Lord, bless them, let them know you walk with them and that you are close by. Give them good times together, draw them close. Glorify yourself in their testimony and their lives. Even so, come and let the trumpet sound and take us all home. Amen.