Psalm 18:16-19 The Lord reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. . . I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.
We used to call the Transplant ICU at Montefiore Hospital “The Dungeon,” and never more so than after Karis spent time in an incredibly light and bright ICU in Maine, where every room had picture windows. “Our” TICU was in a basement, with small, high windows looking out at brick or concrete walls, usually covered by blinds.
I suppose there was some logic to this arrangement—after all, most of the patients in that place were unconscious most of the time. Usually by the time they were aware enough of their surroundings to notice, they were on their way up to the floors, where the rooms did have big picture windows and views. But The Dungeon was hard on family members, especially for frequent flyers like us. The rooms were small, crowded with equipment and the noise of machines. There was no space for any comfort for an anxious mom or dad, brother or sister or friend, except for a folding chair or a stool to perch on. Any procedure that required two or more medical personnel squeezed family into a corner or out the door.
Why am I telling you all this? Because these verses from Psalm 18 became a lifeline for me. The NIV and most English translations translate verse 19 as “He brought me out into a spacious place.” Both concepts, of safety and of wide, open spaces, were life-giving to me in those long days (and sometimes weeks) of fighting to bring Karis back from the valley of death. When it all seemed to close in on me, the Lord supported me by broadening my imagination into spaciousness, helping my spirit roam through acres of gardens and mountain vistas of vast oceans. In my mind’s eye I could look up to the heavens and marvel at the expanse of glimmering stars or see amusing figures in puffy clouds.
It’s not surprising that after Karis went Home, I found healing in wandering outdoors, with no confining walls, beeps and whirs, tubes and bandages, gowns and hospital smells. All these years later, I quickly feel suffocated by small spaces. But I want to register today my gratitude to the Lord for supporting me through those days and weeks in the TICU. And if you find yourself in a tight, weary, anxious place, you too can ask the Lord to lead you into safety and spaciousness.
Our Lord Jesus, Creator of the universe, confined himself to the restraints of a human womb, a human body, for our sake. He understands our needs. He rescues us because he delights in us. Love so amazing . . .