Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Life is fragile, love is fragile

It's really true that we never know when our life will change in an instant. I really try to remember that and live my life with that in mind. But when it does happen, I don't think anyone is really prepared.

We got one of those calls the day after Christmas. Kevin's brother called about their sister. M is 44 and lives in South Dakota. The relationship has always been rocky and sporadic. She's had a hard time keeping a job and the only time we heard from her would be when she needed money or some kind of help. She's struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. She was extremely close to her mom and when her mom died 15 years ago, I don't think M ever really got over it. She isolated herself and we dreaded hearing from her. Sadly, that was the reality.

Then we got the phone call. M took something to get to sleep and left a window open and almost froze to death. The EMTs were able to revive her and at the hospital they worked feverishly to raise her internal temperature from the 70's. They did dialysis to warm her blood. A couple days later and she's aware, but still on a respirator and still needing dialysis. She's been upgraded from critical to serious in the ICU. If there is recovery, it will be long and hard. Right now it's day to day.

I am overwhelmed with sadness seeing a person's life that has basically been thrown away. When a person pushes away family and friends and isolates themselves from interaction with people, what is left?

I'm so grateful that God is a God of second chances. And He doesn't give up on us, no matter what. I just don't know if M is even interested in God or others.

There is a scene in C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle. Aslan sets a banquet before the dwarves who refuse to see it. :

"Aslan raised his head and shook his mane. Instantly a glorious feast appeared on the Dwarfs’ knees: pies and tongues and pigeons and trifles and ices, and each Dwarf had a goblet of good wine in his right hand. But it wasn’t much use. They began eating and drinkung greedily enough, but it was clear that they couldn’t taste it properly. THey thought they were eating and drinking ony the sort of things you might find in a stable. One said he was trying to eat hay and another said he got a bit of an old turnip and a third said he’d found a raw cabbage leaf. And they raised golden goblets of rich red wine to their lips and said “Ugh! Fancy drinking dirty water out of a trough that a donkey’s been at! Never thought we’d come to this.” But very soon every Dwarf began suspecting that every other Dwarf had found something nicer than he had, and they started grabbing and snatching, and went on to quarreling, till in a few minutes there was a free fight and all the good food was smeared on their faces and clothes or trodden under foot. But when at last they sat down to nurse their black eyes and their bleeding noses, they all said:

“Well, at any rate there’s no Humbug here. We haven’t let anyone take us in. The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs.”

“You see,” said Aslan. “They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.”

That's how M is and it hurts to know that.

Please pray for M. For healing, for minimal organ damage, for God to work in her heart. And for wisdom for us. And to be reminded of the mercy God showed us.


Beth said...

Reading this brought tears to my eyes, Ruth. Your story made me think of several instances in my life that sounded so similar, and your words touched my heart. My prayers are with M and your family.

NLBlack said...

Very well written. I hope she recovers and has a change of heart. We are praying for M.

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Longview, Texas
In the autumn of my life, I am very content.