Psalm 27:13-14 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am still here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
For Karis, her “waiting room” was often her pillow. Her journals details countless times when she waited on her Lord in that sacred space.
I thought of this while contemplating the second “O” Antiphon, assigned for today, O Adonai (O Lord): O come, O come thou Lord of might, who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height in ancient times didst give the law in cloud and majesty and awe.
Karis’s life was all about grace. Yet as she lived it, she often longed for and depended on God’s definitive word to her, his guidance for how to think, how to live, how to honor him within the challenges she faced. Here are a few samples, excerpted from Karis, All I See Is Grace:
Aug 2002 The life I live now is an extra life. Someday, I will learn to sing. Someday I will learn to dance. Until then, I sing. Until then, I dance. I am still that little girl in Europe, disappearing, needing to wander alone. I miss You, Kyrios [Lord]. Revive my heart, wash clean my mind with Your truth. Come to me and speak Your secrets, Your plans. Draw me in. I will lay my head on my pillow now and wait.
Mar 6, 2003 Hospital [After Karis was again found passed out in the dorm at Notre Dame] Strange coming back to the world. I did what I never thought possible with Anthony: I cried. He said “We cannot despair.” And gently brought me back, on this small buoy in the ocean. . . Later I will thank You. Yes. Worship and wait. For hundreds of loving arms, offers to help—I thank You. (And in thanking must accept the gift, yes?) I try. Accepting is hard. Facing myself is difficult. Rest and psalms. Prayer. Sleep. Love. Restoration. Rest-oration. Only because He is Emmanuel.
Jun 2004 [During the long wait from March until August for her first transplant] How long the wait, Father? To what extent can I ally myself with the here and now? Pittsburgh, city of bridges. If I build here will I lose myself? Will I become tied to this place?
Jul 20, 2004
I awake not only to a lofty God but to an
Remember this to me.
Remember me in moving
By Your grace through rather than
Beside. Make my life Sacrament.
Turn my gaze toward the subject
Of Your eye.
Forgive me that I do not love; forgive
And rush into the lack in me
Teach me to pray
Teach me to wait
Teach me to believe You love me.
Apr 18, 2009 [Hospital after almost dying from severe rejection] Thank You for the apparent miracle at work in my body. Yes, miracle. What else can I call it? Thank You for my friends and the pain medicine that allowed me to enjoy their shenanigans. Thank You for tea, hot and cold. For soy milk and lemon drops and jelly bellies.
Lord, help me rediscover myself intact, somewhere. Help me still be capable, or become so again; and recover not just capacity but also content: memories, self, motivation, personality. I am so much less able to truly laugh. I beg of You, make this temporary! Thank You, Jehovah-Rapha, God who heals. I worship You by waiting and eating and sleeping and walking. By sobbing, purging my soul, laying it before You. And I see Your hand, so gentle always. In the middle of the night I wake and see it.
Even our sleepless nights can become sacred moments of waiting on Adonai, our Lord, to show us his goodness.