10 February 2009
With the Lord There Is Mercy
He can no longer speak with his mouth; the cancer has taken that from him. His eyes still communicate, though. I ask when I arrive how he is doing. He gives me the non-committal shrug. I ask if I can read him some Scripture and pray. He nods yes. The prayers and readings for the Commendation of the Dying are drenched in mercy. That's as it should be. After praying briefly for forgiveness and comfort, I read Psalm 130 and its Gloria Patri and prayer, then the account of Easter from John's Gospel, the one we read at Easter Matins: "My Father and your Father; My God and your God." The Creed and then the litany for the dying with the cry for mercy ringing through like the tolling of a great bell: have mercy! have mercy! have mercy! have mercy upon us! grant us Your peace! have mercy! have mercy! have mercy! Then Our Father and Nunc Dimittis. Through much of this he is too weak to keep his eyes open and focused. But at the Our Father he stirs again and opened eyes fix on me. Last I sing "Lord, let at last" and then the Benediction: "give you peace." The look in his eyes speaks his "Amen" for him. He's ready to go. He knows his past is under the blood; his present is in the hands of the Risen One; his future is bright with mercy.
Posted by William Weedon at 2:45 PM