I keep thinking about my mom’s dentist appointment the other week. As we were seated waiting for her name to be called, Dad had his arm around Mom and she had her head on his chest. She said, “I hurt. You have to help me.” (Mom has frequent stomach aches. We’ve had all kinds of tests done and concluded it comes from irritable bowel. She is on different meds, but nothing seems to really help.)
Dad squeezed her shoulder and said, “I am helping. I’m here.”
She clings to him more, I think she is anxious being in this building she doesn’t remember, and repeats, “You have to help me.”
“I am,” Dad patiently repeats in a calming voice. “I am here with you.”
When her name is called Dad gets up with her and puts his hand on her shoulder (to guide him because his vision is so poor) and shuffles along behind. As they work on her teeth the dentist pulls a chair up close to Mom so Dad can hold her hand through it all.
Sometimes I hurt and I cry out to God, “You have to help me.” God is powerful and sovereign and He can take away my pain if He chooses to. Sometimes He does. And sometimes, for reasons I don’t understand, He doesn’t take away the pain.
But He says in a still, calm voice, “I am here with you.” And I hold fast to His hand, and know the grace that His presence brings, and it is enough.
(A memory post from January 2012.)