My love of fun and laughter---laughter at times which fills a room and spills over to the next--gives pause to my quest for the appearance of dignity. My charade of culture and good manners quickly vanishes when I explode into deep --head rolled back---eye squinting---side splitting bursts of mirth.
And then there are the tears---no bastion of dignity would ever allow tears to roll down their cheeks in the manner I now do. Tears for my friends, tears for the lost, tears for those in pain, tears of joy and hope---they roll in deep troughs filled from the long dammed up ocean of salty water within my heart.
Upon brief encounter--perhaps I am able to create the illusion of grace and dignity---but the "Real Me" always shows up---it is just a matter of time.
My dear friend is nursing her son through his final illness. It is not the natural order of life--to see your precious off-spring go before you. Death is not pretty--it can be painful and long--with the dawn of every day and the first conscious thought of every morning asking "What will today bring?". Long hours spent in hospital rooms and waiting rooms, hours spent waiting for the appearance of a doctor in hope of any word of encouragement. Longing for home---routine---normal---in a world filled with the grotesquely abnormal.
This sweet friend is facing it all with great grace and dignity. She is drawing from the deep well-spring of memories from the past. Great sorrows previously endured, doubts about the future, problems with no answers ---a history of faithful care and love from the Father-all supplying the trust to fill the deep well of grace and dignity. It is still painful--it is still exhausting--it is still heart-breaking---but she is looking to the only hope of grace---and walking forth in great dignity--leaning in upon Him.
"Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
II Corinthians 12:8-9