Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A Gift of Remembrance (Book Excerpt)

 A Gift of Remembrance 

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. 
(Isaiah 49:16a) 

Since I am engraved on the palms of Jesus’ hands, then everything, including his recorded days for me, must be there too. His wounded hands, healed, yet scarred, remind me of his sacrifice and death that enabled this engraving. 

My memories, thus engraved, are deeply embedded within me. I love the good memories. What takes courage is facing devastating memories head on. Yet God cannot impart his gift of healing until I acknowledge my need for it. 

Chronic illness entered my life when I was a mid-life adult. When I suffered intensive flare-ups of internal vertigo spinning, my mother was the person who would leave her home and come to help me. She would hold my head until the worst was over. Remembering her presence brings 
cherished memories. 

The memories needing healing were devastating images of her during her last days and moments. I held her head as she took her last breath and died. 

God’s healing gift came in personal ways. The journey was slow. He streamed an image of my mother—whole, healed, and with him. He did not let up until I could see this stronger image through the dimmer nightmarish veil of other ones. 

Her unexpected death left me weak. An opportunity to travel to England quickly surfaced. I questioned if I was strong enough to go. I felt the courage to attempt the trip when I remembered my mother’s caring hands that held my head steady. 

Far from home, the steps of healing continued. They were ones that only those who have grieved deeply understand. 

Walking a sunlit trail in Cambridge on my last day in England, I became aware of a flighty companion. A butterfly was keeping pace with me! My mother loved butterflies. This one was donned brightly in her favorite colors. Cautiously turning on my camera, I captured the priceless moment. 

God sent a butterfly. It was a gift of remembrance that my mother was but a breath away with him and, in many ways, still with me. 

Lord, some remembrances are difficult. Thank you for the scars you bore so I can turn to you in deep need and come away graciously renewed. Amen.