Reminders . . .
Today I returned to Brown Bag Bible Study, the first time I've been there since Tom fell on January 6. It would have been easier to stay home. Afterward I went across the street to the hospital to see a special friend who also has ovarian cancer. As I drove into the parking garage, I suddenly realized I'd be visiting her on the same floor where Tom was in hospice care. I dreaded passing his room and was relieved when I exited the elevator and saw her room was the opposite direction. What is it about "little" things?
While Tom was in the hospital I not only spent a lot of time reading and studying the Scripture, but I also read Psalms to him. Psalm 8 particularly spoke to me. In fact, I chose it to be used as a call to worship at Tom's memorial service. One of the things that he and I shared was a Calvinistic interpretation of Scripture, beginning with the Sovereignty of God. For us, life was about glorifying God and trying to be obedient to Him. So, it was meaningful to pray through Psalm 8, acknowledging the majesty of God and realizing once again that our almighty, amazing God cares about His creation--and not just creation, but the individuals who have been created by His hand. What is man that God is mindful of him? In the midst of a crisis, it is of great comfort to think of that God and that He cared for Tom. Related to those thoughts were some I wrote in a journal on part of a verse in Daniel.
Tom loved the book of Daniel. It was his favorite book of the Bible, but I don't think he ever told me why. Perhaps it is the Sovereignty of God so evident throughout the book. Maybe he learned from God's faithful servant, Daniel. I reread Daniel one day, partly as reference material for a Revelation study and partly because of Tom.
There, in chapter 9, is the most reassuring of verses: We make requests (pray, plead) not because we are deserving but because God is merciful (Daniel 9:18b). What is man that God is mindful of him? We are welcome at the throne of grace, not because of anything we might bring, but because of who God is.
Tom was special in many ways, but anything he might have accomplished did not matter in God's sight. God didn't care about Tom's "Citizen of the Year" award in 8th grade, nor his security clearance in the military. God was not impressed by Tom's good manners nor his thoughtfulness. His accomplishments in this life were not the basis on which God was hearing our prayers. God heard, God answered because of His great mercy for His children.
That was true for Daniel; it was true for Tom. As the hymnwriter wrote: Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to Thy cross I cling. Every day, all during the day I would go, empty handed and clinging, pleading for God's mercies.
Thank you, Lord, for your mercies. Thank your for your care for your children.