Psalm 49:15 But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave.
Tuesday, I didn’t feel well. Nauseated, stomach cramps, shortness of breath, no fever, but then my normal is low. Symptoms of the pandemic. My doctor said to go for a test. I did. It was negative. Three days later, same symptoms only worse. In my mind, I thought “Oh boy, now I have it.” I didn’t really want this awful pandemic but there was a secret part of me that wished for something that would relieve the isolation of my small apartment and for people who would take care of me. I wouldn’t feel so alone.
Friday’s trip to the hospital followed my signal for “Help” through the devices they give to older people who live alone. I had suddenly passed out, fainted, lost consciousness, and I knew I needed help. An ambulance came and took me to a hospital. I heard the driver say that I was a “suspected Covid case” – the name of the pandemic that awakens a fear of being lost to this life. The fear of being lost even from God is at the root of everything. At the hospital we were directed to the special entrance for suspected Covid patients. I was established in a single room with the door shut. No Covid test. I was moved to a hospital room. I saw many white coats one after another in a steady stream. Not one could answer me as to what they were about.
One day it was quiet, my door was shut, and I was not despairing but was wondering what this was all about. How did I end up here and why was this happening? It felt like such a mystery to me. No one told me anything and it seemed I had no particular doctor assigned to me.
I was staring at a peach colored wall directly in front of me. There emerged gradually a soft, pinkish light and an image formed. It was clearly an image of God. No mistake. White robe in folds, but he was smaller than I would have imagined. I just stared at Him in disbelief. I think even my mouth fell open.
He spoke to me. “It is me, my child, and this is Jesus.” He gestured to the man on his left side who I didn’t see at first but there he was standing next to God. He was a little taller but not much. He was a good deal younger and handsome like I thought Jesus should be. But it was God I wanted to know. He reached out to me. God did. “Come, my child.” I took his outstretched hand and he had me stand on the other side of him with Jesus to his left and me to his right.
“Come,” God said, “I have things I want to show you. You worry about people who might not love you, you worry about being alone, but you are wrong, my child. Many love you, and their purpose is to carry my love to you. Come.”
He took my hand and did not let go. He led me down a long set of alabaster stairs and around a corner where I saw a big group of all my family members, arranged as they are exactly in a photograph I have. God talked to me about Love and how it isn’t always perfect, and it isn’t always enough of an answer, but it is the foundation of how people can relate to each other.
“Your family does love you,” God said, “as well as they can in the ways that they can, but not necessarily always in the ways you need. That’s why there are so many of them. What one can’t do, another can. But no matter what, I love you with all that you need. We stood there a while, God and I, pondering the enormity of what He had told me. Then God said, “Come, child.” And he led me back up the stairs.
Jesus was waiting. I took my same place to the right of God, but He gestured for me to be in the center. I said, “No, God, that is your place.” God smiled and answered, “Today, child, you learned you have all you need; you can be in the center of our love. Now it is your job to pass it on, to share my love with others.”