Thursday, May 18, 2017

#19, May 18, 2015, How Great Thou Art

This is the next in a series of excerpts from my journal, written during the last year of Dave's life.

This is what’s bothering me—I am not happy and don’t know how to be. Dave is dying—I saw it yesterday when he wasn’t strong enough to make himself some toast—and I am bound to him as he does so. There’s nothing to be done about this other than to do it for however long it takes. Nothing in this is happy—not the doing of it and not what comes at the end.

But there is something else in the middle of it—something that does not die and can make me happy. I am alive—we are alive—in Christ. 

As I write this, I see the sun as it brings its first full glow above an expectant horizon. The day’s turning is constant. God still upholds the same world He created and saved. I have messed up everybody and everything, but God holds it all fast within the grasp of the only sure hand there is. 

This is more than Good News, more than a purely spiritual saving. This is the fiber of life. It is breathing. It is smiling and crying. It is holding and being held. It is the very assurance I’ve been waiting for so desperately. This is the declaration of and confidence, absolute confidence, in a love that won’t fall short. Not ever. 

It is terrible, you know. But it has to be that way, because it is the only love that fully acknowledges the horrible shortcomings of the beloved—me. The cross knows what I am and loves anyway, and in the only way possible. How can I not be happy knowing that? What danger can any part of this living throw up in the face of it? This is why I am safe in Christ. 

You, sweet God, have defeated not only death, but every danger that threatens my soul. My body is already breaking down, but You are holding me up. Every smile, every pure laugh I have ever known has been in expectation of this one—the only one not leaning on intelligence or strength or circumstances of any kind, but on the magnificence of creation itself, and the plan, and provision ordained for men and women before it ever came to be. 

And it is all because You are great beyond comprehension, able beyond understanding, and loving every single moment. 

I don’t deserve it, but You don’t care.



  1. So beautifully said and heart renderingly sad at the same time. To hold and be held. Bless you as you will continue to bless others.

    1. Thanks, Sue. I intend to continue posting through next March, when it will have been two years since Dave died. My hope is that other people who are enduring similar situations will know they're not alone.

  2. My aunt has been watching her husband die of ALZ. It is good to read of others who have gone through this. I feel so bad for her. Cruel disease. So sorry for your loss too.

    1. You're right, Sue. ALZ is cruel. The whole process of death is, I guess. But there is a privilege in all of this too, the role as witness and advocate. I am glad, in the end, to have been there and I hope your aunt, some day, will be, too.