Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Let us know if we can do anything ...

This evening after hospital visiting - Dr B will probably be out tomorrow but is still waiting for a final ultrasound test - I went out for a delicious supper with friends at the Lyrique in Geneva.
People are being so kind and supportive at the moment and it's a little difficult to know how to respond. Everyone wants to offer help and I am enormously grateful - it's just that there really isn't much to do. Perhaps once Stephen is home it will be clearer what is needed. Even then though I suspect that we will not need masses of practical support, however the gentle support of kindly words, prayers and just joining us for a cup of tea and some conversation will continue to be much appreciated.
It has been heart-warming and sometimes a little overwhelming to receive so many offers of help and messages of support. This evening I came home to a message from a former parishioner, who has herself had major surgery for a brain tumour and is a nurse ... emails and phone messages from all over and the simple foundational knowledge that people are praying for us. One African friend said "we are keeping God awake", I liked that!
As I reflect on how I too often say to others - let me know if there's anything I can do - I've been thinking of some spiritual exercises that use imagination to help achieve a new way of discerning life, situations and events, by encouraging the ability to simply be still, look and not try to do anything at all. This evening I recognise how little I myself truly develop this capacity to simply "be" with the ambiguity of life, its pains, shocks and joys. I am so truly grateful that I am able to visit the man I love in hospital, yet I hardly dare to give thanks - there is a long time of healing and change ahead. Life is precious and fragile and can only ever be lived one day at a time. For all of us that is all we will be able to do.
And I suppose my final two words for this post are "phew" - because even now I am not quite sure what it is I have gone through this past week; and "thank you" - to so many friends and family, and God and life itself. It will go on being good and rich and beautiful - and it is a blessing to be allowed to come through such a time not grieving but grateful.