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I was talking with a friend today about the emotional toll of the past week.  On Sunday last the congregation I serve voted for closure.  It was an expected outcome for the meeting, but still there was a lot of deeply felt pain on all of our parts. 

Then as the week progressed one of my best friends died. 

I really wasn’t looking forward to yesterday, the anniversary of my sister’s death.  However that pain was eclipsed as I had a lonely morning getting dressed, no kitten games, no strange looks, my cat just wasn’t around.  When I got downstairs the food from Sat night was still in his dish and he was nowhere to be found.  After much calling he appeared, a sad sorry sight.  I knew he was sick.  I left to lead worship with a heavy heart.  That afternoon, I took him on an emergency visit to the vet, who diagnosed a urinary track blockage.  They kept him overnight, gave him aneasthetic and drained the fluid from his bladder.  The final diagnosis, crystals in the urinary track, stones in the bladder and a bladder and kidney infection.  Today he remains under the care of the vet, and if he responds well might be able to come home tomorrow.  I anticipate a bill that means that I will “owe my soul to the company store” and I know that I can’t afford it… but my Buster is a good cat, young and full of life.  His gifts of love are special, and one does not abandon one’s friends….EVER.

My friend and I talked about the emotional pain of each of these events and of how they made for a week that was more to be endured and survived, than lived.  At one point I said, “if I were a mushroom I would be so happy in all this shit and darkness because it would make me thrive.”

….but I am not a mushroom.

I am a child of God, and the Holy One, he loves me.  He cares for me.  He holds me up when my steps falter.  He gives me courage when my strength fails.  He gives me hope when I give in to despair.

Through the night and through today the words resonating in my heart have come from Psalm 27…..

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
   whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
   of whom shall I be afraid? 

When evildoers assail me
   to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
   they shall stumble and fall. 

Though an army encamp against me,
   my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
   yet I will be confident. 

One thing I asked of the Lord,
   that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
   all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
   and to inquire in his temple. 

For he will hide me in his shelter
   in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
   he will set me high on a rock. 

Now my head is lifted up
   above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
   sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord. 

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
   be gracious to me and answer me! 
‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face!’
   Your face, Lord, do I seek. 
   Do not hide your face from me. 

Do not turn your servant away in anger,
   you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
   O God of my salvation! 
If my father and mother forsake me,
   the Lord will take me up. 

Teach me your way, O Lord,
   and lead me on a level path
   because of my enemies. 
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
   for false witnesses have risen against me,
   and they are breathing out violence. 

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
   in the land of the living. 
Wait for the Lord;
   be strong, and let your heart take courage;
   wait for the Lord!

This is my song, the song of my heart in these pain filled days.  I will trust in God to take care of me, to love me, to protect me and to direct my feet onto a secure pathway.

Wait for the Lord;
   be strong, and let your heart take courage;
   wait for the Lord!