Time Alone

A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.

Ecclesiastes 3:5

My need for order makes it unlikely that I will ever embrace the opportunity to “scatter” stones. I am more likely to arrange them in neat piles or rows -depending upon their size. I am even less likely to choose to be far from embraces. The human touch is extremely important to us all, and I cannot imagine ever situating myself far enough away from my fellow humans to preclude hugging.

As I composed that last sentence, the image of my mom an hour before her passing came to mind. She had drifted into a coma the day before and we knew that her time left among us could be counted in hours. That night, I could not bring myself to leave her. It was forty minutes after my sisters had left when I realized the error of my ways. You see, when our mom received her terminal diagnosis, she was very specific regarding where she would spend her last days. The underlying message was that she had no intention of breathing her last in any of our homes. She could not bear to leave us with that memory. My presence at her bedside had obviously interfered with my mom’s intent. After kissing her one last time, I drove the thirty-minute ride home. About ten minutes after I arrived, the phone rang. My mom had taken her leave of this earth shortly after I left her.

Sometimes, we need to leave the proximity of those all-important embraces in order to deal with our most important work. There are some things which we must attend to alone.

Patient God, I can be thick-headed when it comes to the lessons of this life. Help me to see your direction more clearly. Nudge me when it is time to embrace those you have given me to love. Nudge me a bit harder when it is time for me to step back and allow you to take care.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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