O Eternal Emmanuel, we are thankful You dwell among us. When we recall the masses of people who walked with You, the favored ones seem to have been the sick, the maimed, the infirm, the overwrought and always the children. As birds twitter and soft sunlit breezes blow open the first blossoms of spring- there are those who sit in waiting rooms with white knuckled strain waiting for diagnoses, eyes hollowed out from pain, are now glazed over with hopelessness, wheelchairs hold those weakened by injury and disease; weary and worn caregivers wrap the infirm in whispers of love, while wondering how much longer they can hold out, even as some loved ones fumble with that gauze curtain that separates this life from the next. Down hushed corridors and disinfected hallways, pleasant voices direct patients to labs, treatment rooms and sophisticated machines that hum, whoosh and beep. We confess it is in the dim rooms, the sweat soaked sheets, the twilight terrors that we cry out- ‘When God, when?’ Clinging to hopelessness like fretful children, who have been there so long, it feels like home. Before the break of dawn, whisper a gentle reminder of the time when You were pressed on every side, yet You felt a feeble feminine hand reach out and touch the Hem of Your Garment. She had spent all she had on all manner of treatments and physicians- with desperate hope her fingers touched the Healer in White Linen. Help us recall the one with useless limbs on his sick bed of pain, the one with congenital blindness, the one who was tortured with uncontrollable seizures, the many with decaying leprous sores, and the faithful woman who was bent double for 18 years! They were loosed from the grip of infirmity. We know You saw them, You heard their cries, for You have said- ‘Even if it were possible for a mother to forget her own child, I will not forget you- you are engraved on the Palms of My Hands’. Even now, we hear the swish of angel wings ushering humanity to the Throne of Your Mercy, where heavy sacks of heartache are piled up, hope has burned into ashen heaps, broken dreams are puddled at Your Feet, prayers are murmured for weak hearts to be strengthened, for endless pain to be removed, for chronic illness to be relieved and for spirits to be lifted. Prayers are offered for those who serve the sick, for those who stand ready in surgical gowns, for those who monitor life supports- that they would be ever aware of Your unseen Presence and the support You give to the patients who depend on their skills. Grant to them all, unfailing certainty that prayers are heard and Grace is given. May we never forget that You are still guiding gifted hands, still granting healing wisdom and still performing miracles. For those recovering in hospital beds alongside the beeps and hums of mechanical companions, we pray You will enable these to hear the rustle of guardian angel wings, the whir of dancing cherubim, the exquisite light of Your Presence and above all these precious words- ‘I will bind up the wounds, heal the broken hearted, console and comfort the afflicted, give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for sadness, a garland of praise instead of a heavy burdened spirit. In the Valley of Achor, the vale of trouble will be found a Door of Hope… The Son of righteousness brings healing in His Wings. I will never leave or forsake you. Ask and receive that your joy may be full.’* To the One who explored the vast measures of pain and deepest treasures of human suffering on the Cross of Calvary and rose victorious- grant to the Infirm hope and healing in our Magnificent Savior. Amen.
Love y’all, Camellia
*Scriptures are derived from Isaiah 49:15, Isaiah 61, Hosea 2:15, Malachi 4:2, Hebrews 13:5, John 16:24 Photographs of Camellia’s Cottage white daffodils are mine.