Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bright Wings

Sunday, May 4, 2008

One of Katherine’s favorite teachers told me that she was the most “God-besotted” child she’d ever seen. I love that expression. It has stuck with me ever since.“Besotted” connotes a state of either stupid, muddled drunkenness, or one of total infatuation. Katherine was just plain punch-drunk in love with God. Willing to be a ‘fool for Christ’ when it was exceedingly uncool ....like late middle school, early high school, for instance. She memorized this poem for an English class:

God’s Grandeur (Gerard Manley Hopkins)

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.


And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.


That first line has been playing around in my head as I walk from hotel to hospital and back again. Spending too much time in a hospital makes going outside seem like getting glasses for the first time when you’ve been extremely near-sighted all of your life. Suddenly, you notice every leaf, wisp of cloud, and vibrant flower, like Eve waking up in the Garden. I realize that, as desperately as we human beings try, we will never fully succeed in ruining the creation because of the innate life-renewing force beneath and behind it all. The world still vibrates with the mystical tingling electricity of its’ Maker, fired by the gentle warmth of his ineffable Spirit. “The wind blows where it may...”

Now He flies low to earth, and gathers us under his wings of protective love. I felt this last night when I pulled the curtain around and snuck in bed with my little wounded one. She kept beckoning me with her good left hand, gracefully circling me closer and closer until I couldn’t resist. Gingerly, carefully, I stationed myself above the catheter, below the ventilator on a tiny sliver of sheet. She took my hand and placed it on her shaking chest, pounded by violent shivering from the ice water coursing through her veins. I tickled her arm with my free hand. She reached up and tickled mine as I pressed her chest. I put one leg over hers. She put one over mine, cast and all, making the Mommy/Kat sandwich that was our favorite childhood snuggle. I hummed one of our baby songs. This scripture entered my head:

The LORD your God is with you... He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”
(Zephaniah 5:17)


Thinking about it this morning, I wondered how many times I’ve been one of those to whom Jesus referred when he said, “...how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under wings, but you were not willing.” (Matt. 23:37) Squirming out of his lap like my ‘busy one’ tried to do with me every bedtime, I have run off to get in trouble on my own. Why does it so often take broken wings to make us rest in our parent’s arms?

May this Sabbath be a day of rest for all of us.


He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge...
(Psalm 91:4)

5 comments:

Karen Blickle said...

Oh Kim! What a beautiful scene you have painted with your amazing words. I consider myself one of the fortunate ones to have recently seen your beautiful face, making it even easier to envision the moments with Katherine you so lovingly describe. I am once again in awe of you as I have been countless times in the over 50 years I have been blessed to have you as my forever BF! Keep leaning on the arms of all those who surround you and love you. They are all angels carrying God's love to you. I send you my love and prayers for strength all day long and soon, if my plans work out, I'll be out to see you. Delta has a few 20 hour layovers at the Wilshire Grand. Then I could GIVE you this huge hug I'm having to "cyber send" you now! In the mean time thank you for this dear blog. It is faithfully read and cherished as a guidepost for my prayers for you.

I love you!
Karen (BF)

linde said...

kim,

thank you so very much for sharing your journey with us. praying for God's Best in katherine.

oby dupree said...

KIM, 31 YEARS AGO I LAID IN MY SHARON'S BED AT EGLESTON AND SNUGGLED AS I HELD HER AND PRAYED. I FEEL BONDED FOREVER THROUGH CHRIST TO YOU. A MOTHER'S LOVE FOR HER WOUNDED CHILD IS ALMOST UNEXPLAINABLE. WHAT A GIFT OUR CHILDREN ARE AND I CONSTANTLY THANKED GOD FOR EVERY SECOND I HAD WITH SHARON AND STILL DO. I THANK HIM NOW FOR EVERY SECOND YOU WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE WITH YOUR PRECIOUS GIFT IN KATHERINE. I LOVE YOU, OBY

Sandra said...

Mrs. Arnold I was very touched by your entry. I remember that assignment very well. I also remember that Kathrine was one of the first people who really welcomed the new girl into the class. She was one my dearest friends in school and I really thank you for allowing the ones that love her to be there with you. She is in my thoughts and prayers everyday as are the rest of y'all. Take care.
Sandra Dietz

Meg said...

Kim,
My daughter, also a Catherine but a "C" one, was a friend of Katherine's as a Zeta at Samford. I've always loved your Katherine and have been excited at each success in her life. She comes to mind soooo many times randomly throughout the day, and I am praying for her many times each day. As a mom who dearly loves her three children as you do, I'm really touched by your thoughts on the blog and appreciate your sharing your deepest feelings with us. I know that you have to be strong for so many people when you probably need care yourself. Please know that I am lifting you up into God's hands each day, too, as you minister to Katherine and show love and care to her precious family. Though we may never actually meet, I feel a real kinship through our heavenly Father.
In His love,
Meg Brooke