Wednesday, October 19, 2011

He Counts the Stars

She sits by the window and waits to see my car in the parking lot. Before I get to my apartment, she is on the phone to "check" on me. I am tired. I am not in the mood to be needed by anyone but me tonight. I call her back and try to rationalize that I have done what was required and I can go about my business now. But, I can't ignore the aching loneliness in her voice. I take a deep breath and tell her I will be right down. I want to see how she is.

At 75, a widow and mother of an adopted son who never comes to visit, she is, like so many today, abandoned when she most needs to be loved and cared for.

I have only known her for a couple of years, and yet, I seem to be her closest friend. I smile patiently as she tells me the same story for the hundreth time. She lives in the past victories of her life. That's so much easier for her to think about than the painful realities of her life as it is today.

She falls repeatedly. This time she cracked her head open and spent the night in the emergency room getting stitches in her head. Last Christmas, she broke a bone in her back and 3 ribs. I realize watching her that I have come to love this dear, frail, sickly woman like my own mother.

Instinctively, I reach for her and beg her to listen to her doctor and use a walker to protect her from falling. My emotions catch me by surprise. I hate to cry in public, but here I am with tears coming unbidden into my eyes. With a voice shaking with the sudden realization that she may not make it through another winter, I tell her, I just don't want 'anything' to happen to her... She sees my heart and smiles at the love that is on display toward her. She reassures me that she "isn't going anywhere" - she has decided to live to be 114! She's just "too ornery" to die!

But, God is whispering to my heart - she is close to the end. He invites me to be faithful to stay close to this little lamb that the Shepherd sees and loves and wants to bring home. Witness to her, Maureen. She needs her Savior.

I hate the pain I see all around me. So many people are hurting, wounded, abandoned, alone. Why? Does God see? Does He care? Really?

He speaks to me of the depth of His love and understanding for my friend and others like her who are suffering. Some physically, some emotionally, some spiritually. He leads me to the Psalms, where I always find Him comforting and loving me with His Word, spoken to a broken and wounded world. I find myself grasping onto the promise of His Word in Psalm 147: 3-4

"He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up all their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name..."

My dear friend isn't abandoned. The same God who "counts the stars and calls them all by name" is right there with her. And you. And me.

I commit you to Him tonight. He sees you. He loves you. He will meet you in your every need...

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How are you doing on your journey with the Lord? Started yet? Still searching. My prayer is that you will be encouraged to seek after Him with all your heart. Without a doubt, you will find Him. He is searching for YOU!