It has been a tumultuous return to Perth. My daughter became unwell suddenly and had to be hospitalised. I woke to a morning feeling numb. The effort to suppress the worst case scenario took its toll and left me spent and exhausted. Formulating a prayer, starting with a simple “please” seemed impossible in thought and action.
It is often promoted during crisis or trauma, one of the best things one can do is adhere as close to routine as possible. It corrects the imbalance. So I reached out for my prayer book. It is how I start my day. This may not mean much to people who do not have the same belief system as me. But, perhaps the story I am about to relate will resonate more widely …
About 25 years ago I worked in an office environment and had a supervisory role. It was a time when people were experiencing repetitive strain injury (RSI). An older woman had been ‘floating’ around the various departments while she recuperated from her injury. As she had run out of options, I offered to take her on with limited duties. Being older than the other staff in the office, she had a higher standard for herself and others. This made it difficult for her to adjust, so I supported her more closely than I did the other staff. I noticed she was struggling for a few days with a cold but she was adamant not to take any more sick leave than she had taken for her injury. I finally convinced her just before a long weekend to have a few days off. I gave her some magazines I had in my office to enjoy while she rested. She called me a few days later in tears. She had read an article in one of the magazines on breast cancer, discovered she had a symptom that was not a lump and hastened to see her doctor. She had an ultrasound and was scheduled for an immediate mastectomy. She returned to work some months later with a gift for me. A small prayer book called “God Calling – a daily devotional”. It is based on the Anglican faith. She always credited me for “saving her life”. Never did I get a chance to tell her, she saved mine multiple times and sometimes, every day. I have read a page a day since it was given to me. Despite all the years, the message is always fresh and relevant. For example, today’s reading.
Wonders Will Unfold
I am with you. Do not fear. Never doubt My Love and Power. Your heights of success will be won by the daily persistent doing of what I have said.
Daily, steady persistence. Like the wearing away of a stone by steady drops of water, so will your daily persistence wear away all the difficulties and gain success for you, and secure your help for others.
Never falter, go forward so boldly, so unafraid. I am beside you to help and strengthen you.
Wonders have unfolded. More still will unfold, beyond your dreams, beyond your hopes.
Say, “All is well” to everything. All is well.
The ride to the hospital with my son opened a new dialogue between us about religion and spirituality. I have raised my children by modelling my faith rather than preaching it to them. Anxious about his sister’s health, he reflected softly, I am dealing with the current crisis so differently than I have other crises. I was able to share with him I have found something that works for me.
I spend a few minutes every day in contemplation. It is a time of renewal for me. It is healing. Simple prayers of All is well, Be still and know I am God, I am with you – is all I need as a compass to guide me through whatever the day brings. The camera is another aspect of my daily routine. I find new meaning every day. For example, I woke one morning and found the cherub contemplating a fallen leaf in front of it. Autumn may have been the catalyst for its descent, but it shone golden when it came to rest. Life, as in Nature, is all about perspective.
Today, I watched my daughter comfort her brother who sat with his arms wrapped around himself protectively. “I’m okay”, she said repeatedly as she read his anxiety accurately. They used humour to alleviate the distress. Her youth seemed awkward and out of place in the Coronary Care Unit. I stepped back to watch the dynamics between them. It has taken years to get to this stage. She has matured into being his big sister again. I left the hospital knowing she is right. She is really okay. All is well.
a dawn bird