By Courtney Ropp, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Coordinator
This week’s theme: Dare to imagine God’s embrace!
I sat in the hospital room, covered in PPE gear. Looking into my mother-in-laws now pale face, I heard her gasping breaths and felt fear cripple me. She is thousands of miles away from home and her husband is on the way. We don’t know what the week has in store or if she’ll make it.
As I leave, tears flood my eyes. How can this be? She came here to celebrate and is now so sick. I call to God, “Where are you? Do you hear me? Help. Please.”
My father-in-law arrives. He too, sick upon pulling in. I see the fear in his eyes. A man who I once deemed as “emotionless,” suddenly tearful and in pain. He is too sick to visit his wife in the hospital. He is helpless as COVID makes us so suddenly aware of how vulnerable we are. My prayer, when there is nothing else to mutter, “help.”
Meals flood our front porch. Friends walk daily with me to hear my bellowing sobs. Texts and calls, prayers and psalms surround us. The warm embrace of community. Tears flood my eyes as neighbors bring extra blankets for the family, offer us a place to stay that is safe from illness, and give up their last home testing kit. Nurses gather around my mother-in-law’s bedside, doctors offer help and hope as they come in, and the CNA helps me put on my PPE gear and laughs with me when I can’t tie the back because of double layers of gloves. Her kind and knowing smile as the staff has walked through our family drama and tears with us.
The embrace of God, felt through the hands, the feet, the gentle smiles, the prayers, the walks, the blankets of his children. He is a God who is faithful to embrace us, as we are, wherever we are, through and in spite of his people. As he promises, “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”