We drove to the VA Hospital to see a friend who is dying of cancer. As we navigated through the mass of men and women sitting in the waiting rooms, I felt God's soft presence touching each one. An elderly man was sitting alone in a wheel chair, nose dripping, head hanging down. I wondered about his family, how his life journey intersected with this place.
A veteran I do not know waves. Something about the collar gives a familiarity. I wave back and we both smile. Others in wheelchairs, bandages, others limping along.
Often in places of pain, confusion and suffering I feel Christ. I do not know how to explain it, but it always one of those thin places between God and Man, heaven and earth. I wonder if the market was filled like this when Jesus touched the sick.
We make it up to the room and our friend is asleep. His daughter is rubbing his arms attempting to wake him, his wife smiles as we walk in and hugs us. Over 60 years of marriage, I hope for that love, that commitment, that walk - hand in hand. Our friend has begun the journey home. He has devoted his life to the church and there is a knowing that we all will meet once again.
Blessed oils are placed on his head, ancient prayers recited, tears fall. Good night my friend, angels will sing you home. For his wife, for now, we can only sing the song of friendship.
Good night my friend, may the angels greet you.