Monday, March 1, 2010

Dangerous Liaisons

He never did explain what the tatoo meant to him. His gruff countenance melted soon after we began sharing and connecting. He tearfully mumbled what his diagnosis was and when I asked him what his tears meant, he choked on his breath. He was A Man, he said, and Men Don't Cry, so his tears were pent-up emotions. His endearing story of how he had lived through numerous "end of life" traumas (such as the motorcycle accident he described in great detail) gave him hope and proof that God was active in his life. I quickly felt connected to Mr. Rough and Tumble, who allowed a very private, vulnerable gentle man to be with me.

She is her twin sister. She's supposed to live through this little spell and get better! That's what her soulmate has shared with me. Her sisterly love means that she'll be here at the hospital by her side until she can come home. Of course! I quickly felt connected to this woman, whose very ill sister in critical care was *still* on a ventilator after more than a week. If it was my sister, well, I'd be a mess.


This young adult has been at the hospital, moving between critical care and step-down, since last summer. He's inspired in me the capacity to ask direct questions about scary-to-me issues. He has evaded just as many questions as I've gotten the nerve to ask. He's told me to leave when he wants to be alone and grasped my hand seeking prayer when he feels desperate. How will I say goodbye to him - as I know that at some point, one of us will leave this hospital.


These are just a few of the liaisons that I have experienced today. In these interactions, I simply show up. With God's help, I try to be fully present. It's dangerous work to expose my heart. So when I leave, I say a little prayer in my heart for peace.

"Now I'm turning you over to God, our marvelous God whose gracious Word can make you into what he wants you to be and give you everything you could possibly need in this community of holy friends. - Acts 20:32 (The Message)

What liaisons are showing up in this moment, for you?


  1. oh. Just reading this stirs up emotions in me. All I can say right now is - They are lucky to have you. Because you robk!

  2. I am so grateful that you are doing this amazing, loving and hard thing! I give thanks, too, that you are not left on your own to process it all.

    The twin sister paragraph struck close to my heart. It makes me see my own twin sister's situation in a new light, with new gratitude.