Echoes of Past Suffering and Grace
Cleaning out more old files for the moving company packers that are coming tomorrow I came across a chaplaincy note pad from my year at Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta. I wrote this re-interpretation of Psalm 23 (and it has stayed with me, though I thought I lost this original writing in chicken scratch between patient notes) in the midst of hard days and after a particularly hard visit with a 16 year old new mom who claimed not to have known she was even pregnant. This time was probably my most theologically and pastorally formative time in my life to date. These words are rough and lack polish but I dare not edit them… they have more life for me the way they have always been… rough and raw.
“The Lord is our shaper, at times God makes us to lie in hospital beds and leads us to turbulent sorrows; God breaks us. We are lead in sorrow for the sake of our witness to God’s presence.
Even though we are broken, inadequate, humiliated, pained, alienated, oppressed, and ignored we shall fear no human powers or systems, for the Lord is with us, Word and Spirit move through us. God prepares a cross for us in the presence of even our own mocking. And yet nothing we can do will stain our clothes of grace – for we dwell in new creation for all time and beyond. Amen.”