Thursday, February 4, 2010

Window To The Soul

You've heard it said that the eyes are the window to the soul?

Their mother lay on the ICU bed, near death. Her daughter was on one side of the bed and son on the other. As I walked into the room, the daughter was bent over, whispering and chattering in her mother's ear. The room was filled with the extended family as they all knew that this woman's time was near. The daughter and son did not notice me - they were appropriately engulfed in being with their mother.

The doctor came in to re-explain what it meant to withdraw life support. They would remove the respirator. They would provide pain medications. They would stop giving medications to boost her blood pressure and instead allow her to continue her course as long as she wished to live. The family agreed.

After life support was removed, the mother lay there very still.

One family member looked at me and said, "Can we take off these silly mitts now?" Yes, of course. (The mitts are used on patients to keep them from accidentally pulling out any IV or tubes. They look like ridiculous boxing gloves.)

When we took the gloves off, this woman's soul was revealed through the stories they began to tell.

"These hands fixed my hair last week when I was getting ready for an interview."
"These hands prepared my dinner when I was very sick and could not care for myself."
"These hands made me breakfast even when she could not eat."
"These hands played the piano and the church organ for 25 years."

We all held hands and prayed.

These hands were the window to her soul. As she passed through death into eternal life, this woman's family held her hands in prayer and in love.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 1 John 1:1-2

What is the window to your soul, this moment?

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