She lay in the hospital bed, her hair as white as the pillowcase on which her head rested; her body, tiny and frail. We followed as the aide wheeled the bed down the corridor to the room where the surgeon waited; the scalpel ready. Just before they took her away, they paused to allow her husband, frail himself, to give her one last kiss before they put her blissfully to sleep. I turned a discreet head, but couldn’t help but be touched by the scene. Cane in one hand, he smoothed her snowy hair with the other, kissing her tenderly. “I love you.” she said. “ I love you, too.” he replied. They wheeled her through. The doors shut. He stood looking after her for a long moment before he allowed us to lead him away to the waiting room where we would all drink coffee and chatter about anything we could think of, while sneaking looks at the clock, wondering how the surgery was going. I thought about their relationship. I thought about how deep the ties between them had grown in 60 years of marriage. How they were like two old trees whose roots had grown so closely together over the years that you could no longer tell where one ended and the other began. There was a deep inseparability about them that you could feel. Even though she was asleep in another room, his heart was entwined with hers, and I knew that no matter what the outcome of the surgery, nothing, not even death, could separate them.
I think that is how God loves us – with that same, deep inseparability.
At our baptisms, we are marked with the cross of Christ forever. The promise to be with us always is sealed by the Holy Spirit, and, from then on, like the roots of two, old trees, God’s heart is so entwined with ours that nothing can separate us. Not even death.
What a comfort that is as we sit in the waiting room of life, watching the clock and feeling the tug on our heart strings until Jesus returns, so we can go home, together, hand in hand.
The blessings of Lent be with you this season, Pastor Barb <><
For I am convinced that neither death nor life…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.