THREE YEARS had passed since my husband’s last trip outside the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex when I mentioned how nice it would be to visit our son and his family in Arkansas over the Easter weekend. …
Bob did well on the trip, and both of us enjoyed the sunny weather and lush springtime scenery. After checking into our room, we drove eight miles farther up a mountain road for a delightful family supper in our son’s lovely home with its spectacular view. We knew he and his wife, a registered nurse, would be occupied with their busy medical clinic the next day but had expected the children would be out of school for Good Friday. However, the kids had to make up a snow day, which meant Bob and I were on our own Friday.
At breakfast in the motel the next morning, we inquired if there was a short excursion we might take to enjoy the natural beauty. The gracious woman who fixed our plates … told us about her favorite place – Haw Creek Falls high up in the nearby Ozarks. … I discovered a path wide and firm enough to accommodate Bob’s motorized chair. After some precarious teetering, Bob wheeled out onto a rocky shelf next to the waterfalls. We sat for a long time as our thirsty spirits gulped in the sounds and sights of our natural surroundings.
Earlier in the day we had lamented the fact we would miss Good Friday church services. … Determined to commemorate this significant holy day somewhere somehow, I had packed the Bible along with our snacks and drinks. Sitting on a barren rock next to the wheelchair, I listened to Bob read aloud the Passion story found in the 18th and 19th chapters of the Gospel of John. He read slowly and deliberately, sometimes pausing with overwhelming emotion.
I looked up into the face of my beloved, whose face is marked by “crown of thorns” scars from three episodes in a metal halo. He loves his brother Jesus and identifies intensely with the Man of Suffering and Sorrow. Tears ran down our cheeks as the scriptural phrases reverberated throughout our outdoor cathedral with its background music of splashing waterfalls.
O Jesus, Lamb that was slain, keep me near the cross. I experience the cosmic dimensions of your wondrous self-offering love when I recall ______________________. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Amen.
– Nell Noonan
The Struggles of Caregiving
From pages 35-36 of The Struggles of Caregiving: 28 Days of Prayer by Nell E. Noonan. Copyright © 2011 by Nell E. Noonan. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
O Jesus, Lamb that was slain, keep me near the cross. I experience the cosmic dimensions of your wondrous self-offering love when I recall ______________________. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Amen. Share your thoughts.
When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:30, NRSV
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This week we remember: Sister Thea Bowman (March 30).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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