Thank You for giving us this year

[Good Friday post from my private blog, now defunct, last year.]

Desperate to bargain, I went to your church in the evening and I prayed to your G-d.

I have not asked your G-d for anything since I was fourteen.

It was almost the same prayer this time. I begged Him to make you well. I went down on my knees.

And then I asked myself what I would give in return.

In the end, I couldn’t even sense Him there.

But: If He made you well, would I believe in Him?

No. Your people are my people, but my G-d is not your G-d.

And I will not lie to you. Not even on your deathbed, if it comes to that, or to make your last minutes happy. You taught me that, no matter how much you came to regret it in the end.

But I was still on my knees. I said, “if someone has to die, let it be me. She loves life and she has had too little of it. My bungled attempts at living for her joyous life. Please.”

But your G-d is the only one who can exchange his life for anyone else’s.

~ by Servetus on April 23, 2011.

37 Responses to “Thank You for giving us this year”

  1. Because G-D did place himself in sacrifice for all of us we fear not what follows from here.

    You and yours are in my prayers.


    • Ironically, my mother, the staunchest Christian I know, is afraid of death. I am not afraid of death, but I’m afraid of not having her around. It’s a conundrum. We are grateful for all the prayers.


  2. Very sad to have such a difference of opinion about such an important matter to both of you. I hope whatever happens will bring peacefulness to your life. You deserve to be happy.


  3. Prayer is powerful, and I think that whenever we pray with our whole being, we receive an answer, but it might not be the one we expect or recognise within the limits of our human wisdom.

    I hope you’ve reached some form of peace with the experience the situation described a year ago, my dear Servetus.


    • It’s been held in abeyance, insofar as she’s doing better, but the underlying problem is still there. And all I can do is pray, so I do that.


  4. I believe prayers are answered, too, sometimes with a “yes,” sometimes with a “no”–and sometimes with “wait. Just wait . . .”

    But the waiting can be so hard. And the answers are certainly not always what we want or expect.

    Peace be unto you, my friend, and to your loved ones.


  5. Sadly once you’ve made a prayer and released it to The Creator; you are very much in The Creator’s hands. There’s just no predicting what the answer to your prayer will be. That can be mightily unnerving.

    Differences in faith between loved ones really can be tricky. I so hope you’ve found peace in this situation my dear.


    • Thanks, Amandajane. We go day by day 🙂


      • One day at a time is often the best way to approach it, Servets. That way it doesn’t overwhelm us so much. When we were going through those terrible last days with my mom, sometimes I really thought I just couldn’t go on, my heart was so broken. But I did. Thankfully I had a good support system with my dearest Benny and my sisters. I hope you do, too.

        As sick as she was, and as ultimately relieved and at peace with our decision to discontinue life support as I was– I couldn’t imagine life without my mother.

        I don’t think you ever stop needing your mother, no matter how old you are.

        I still miss her after more than two years. With Mother’s Day approaching so many bittersweet memories touch me right now.

        I truly hope and pray for the best for you both, whatever that may be.

        On a lighter note, Mr. A’s loveliness and talent helped me make it through some of those dark and difficult nights, too. 😀


        • @Angie, I’m so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine that it feels as fresh today as it did two years ago. I can’t help to worry about the day my parents pass away. They are, thank G*d, generally in good health but they are getting on in years and I can see the toll it’s had on them.
          Sending you a big hug!


          • Thanks, Calexora. Time has made things a little easier, but I still find myself tearing up at times when I see or hear or read certain things that trigger memories. I’ve decided time really doesn’t completely heal all wounds; it just softens the blow a bit.
            Trust me, I wouldn’t ever want her back to have to suffer or struggle as she did in her last days–she is definitely in a better place–but this whole orphan thing just isn’t much fun. But it’s something we pretty much all have to deal with at some point–becoming our parents’ parents, fretting over them as they did over us, wanting to protect them from pain or harm.

            Thanks for the hug! 😀 My mom gave away a lot of hugs in her lifetime.


  6. The past has taught me to be VERY CAREFUL when I address my CREATOR. I think long and hard before I approach HIM. Many times I do not want to bring myself to HIS attention. the whale avoids the harpon until it surfaces.

    Incidently, I was able to watch MI-5 episode 9 this last week for the first time as it is on netflix. Do any of you agree with me that Lucas/John left that rooftop the way he came up? (I believe I’ve seen him down at the river) Also, my reaction to Lucas’ loves is that he only had chemestry with the Russian ex-wife. His chemestry with maya and all the other women but elizaveta was not cold, but nothing like his touching of lizaveta.


    • marylou, respectfully I say that I will pray that someday you have no reason to fear G-D’s attention. Do not forget He always knows you are there…whether you approach Him or not. At least that is what I believe. Peace to you.


      • How old are you, Ann Marie? (you don’t need to answer) At my age contact sometimes (often) feels like the seering eye of Sauron. I am having a lot of trouble telling you this as I feel the eye on me. I have always lived as though HE was with me. I have, though, lived in the world and of the world. To follow HIM means to me to “take up the cross” but I have family, commitments. I am unwilling to do it and therefore feel unworthy and small and do not approach as I did many years ago. Thank you for your prayers as I am unable to approach. It’s not death I fear, but rejection and damnation.


        • “Taking up the cross” can be as simple as living a good and happy life with your family..doing what you can for others in the process. This is especially true when there are children who learn from example. I don’t believe that the G-d I love would ever greet you with rejection and damnation. Of course it may depend on how WE decide to approach Him.

          I’ve passed the half century mark and for the first half of my life never prayed for myself because I thought I was unworthy. Someone convinced me otherwise and I decided to TRUST (fear is born of DIStrust) and the rest of my life has been significantly happier and blessed. That’s the truth.


          • Ann Marie, “how WE decide to approach HIM” is, of course, the ticket. I assume HE is there, like electricity at the wall socket, always. The charge I experience when plugging in has often smacked me into a wall. I therefore approach with great caution and deference and very seldom (never in the past two decades).


            • I regret that for you, truly. Peace. I do believe that there is a force that wishes to keep us separate from G-d. I won’t comment anymore, rest easy.


    • I think it’s not particularly unusual not to experience G-d as loving. I don’t in the sense that most people seem to mean when they say that they feel G-d’s love. The catechism I learned as a child started off all of the explanations of the commandments with “we should fear and love G-d…” and I experience divine love mostly as an outcome of fellowship with others, or in a way that relates more directly to fear, awe or grief than to what I would call love. I wish it were different but it is what it is. I don’t pray for specific things for myself very often because I don’t think that there’s any point. If I am in a bad situation where I need relief, I usually pray “thy will be done.” I pray for specific outcomes for other people all the time, though. I suppose that is a bit odd, as I believe that G-d will act for others but not for me. And you can see, when I’m up against a wall, I pray crazy things.


      • I understand that – praying for others with more specificity and trust than for ourselves. I think part of that is that we can trust more that what is best for them will come out in the end (at least that’s what I think/feel). When it comes to me, it gets all muddled up with guilt, fear, despair and I have trouble just trusting G*d – trusting that what is really meant to happen – for my highest good – even if I don’t understand what that is in the moment – will in fact happen.

        @ Servetus, I’m keeping you and your family in my prayers and I’m hoping you’ll have occasion to write a post of ‘thanks for another year together’ for many, many more years to come.


  7. Wow, has this ever turned into a fascinating discussion!

    Curiously, as we speak, BBC Radio 1 is broadcasting a program on whether the message of Easter can help Christians overcome the fear of death.


    • Well, I think its fear of missing this life. I worry about who will take of my dogs, the husband, etc. Not seeing anymore Richard Armitage, chocolate, that stuff. I am not afraid of death and the life after. I WAS at one point, fear of purgatory and such. Then just before a major surgery a lovely priest said, so, you go to Purgatory. The eventual destination is heaven and you’ll simply be on that journey. I found that immensely comforting. And still do.


      • I think the reason I’m not afraid of death is that on the whole I would not miss living. I know that sounds stark, but it’s how I feel most days. I think my mother is afraid because she really, really enjoys living, even at the points at which her life has been the most unpleasant.

        There’s a song that’s been playing a lot in Christian circles lately, Matthew West’s “Reason for the World.” It’s a beautiful song, and it has a slightly mystical bent that appeals to me a lot. And these compelling lyrics:

        Maybe the reason for the pain
        Is so we would pray for strength
        And maybe the reason for the strength
        Is so that we would not lose hope
        And maybe the reason for all hope
        Is so that we could face the world
        And the reason for the world
        Is to make us long for home

        No ear has heard, No eye has seen
        Not even in your wildest dreams
        A beauty that awaits beyond this world
        When you look into the eyes of grace
        and hear the voice of mercy say
        Child, welcome to the reason for the world.

        I wish I could tell my mother this — and it’s weird that I would tend to believe it more than she would.

        One would kind of hope that heaven would have Richard Armitage. On the other hand, if what I was told as a child is true, we’ll all be too busy enjoying the beatific vision to care.


        • Just listened to the song on YouTube. tears here. one of the illustrations remind me of a painting I have on the wall to the left of my bed . It is of a small row-boat in lily-pads. The way ahead is unclear, but I always want to go there — someday.

          Thoughts of death remind me of a very young soldier mortally wounded and dying near the top of the hill where he had chased the Johnny Rebs. His commander compassionately asked the soldier where he was hit (meaning what part of his body). soldier dying replied, ” right here, sir, right at the top of the hill. Nearly made it, sir.”

          What a blessing to go out in the heat of battle.


        • I like the thoughts expressed in this song.

          I hope that the after-life re-unites us with everyone who was important to us in this life, so yes, I ‘d like to be able to tell Richard that he meant a lot for me at this time in my life.


          • I like this song a lot, too, and I also hope to be able to see all the people I love who have gone before me-my parents and in-laws, my young nephew and my sweet grandmother, the teachers and mentors who touched my life in such positive ways . . . and I would certainly love to have the chance to tell Richard how much he has helped me in this life without ever being aware of it.


    • Dear Servetus, the Grim Reaper is a friend (looks like Sir Guy and is well equipped). GR means surcese of sorrow, eternal sleep, out, out brief candle. GR is a blessing. My mother-in-law had a non-fatal heart attack years ago. She told me as she was coming out of it and realized she would have to go on living, her first reaction was, god damn it.


      • I would tend to agree with you, marylou, but my mom would disagree 🙂


        • aaah, Servetus, just wait ’til she sees old Sir Guy comin’ with his sweet smile. Truly, Servetus, I am sorry your mom is scared as we all have to face him by and by. morphine helps, I hear. We who are left have the most to fear from the separation. Wagner’s Goetterdamerang helps me. wild turkey also helps.


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