Saturday, June 6, 2015

Recovery in the Bible (RIB)


Practically nobody expects life to get as hard as it gets; at least I didn’t, but then I found myself in a valley that was full of dry bones. At the time, my life was very disassembled. Things were just plain terrible -- at all levels of my life: My father had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer; my husband was unemployed; and my own job was at risk.
I carried burdens and pressures with me during one intense week on company business in Boston, where, professionally, I felt daunted and intimidated and where, personally, I felt overwhelmed. The result was not surprising: I could not sleep. Not a wink. I was full of fear and worry; I felt under attack. It was as though every corpuscle in my body was standing on red alert, carrying a rifle that was fully loaded and ready to explode.
Darkness surrounded me. I couldn’t find hope or comfort anywhere. This must be what hell is like, I thought. Dead tired. Full of fear. Just a heap of dead, dry bones in the darkness of yet another sleepless night.
Then, quietly, in the wee hours of Sleepless Night Number Four, I actually heard a whisper. It was three or four o’clock in the morning, and absolutely silent (rare in any medical facility, but especially rare inside the Longwood Medical Complex, where many hospitals converge). I was still awake, wide awake, worrying about my father, wondering about my husband, and wrestling against discouragement from this client. The adrenaline was racing through my veins when, suddenly, amid the hushed, absolute stillness, I could hear. What I heard was a whisper -- a barely audible whisper that said, “Psalm Three.”
Hearing this shook me up. I knew I hadn’t said it -- I couldn’t even have thought of it. Thus it was with considerable trepidation that I decided to explore the suggestion -- whatever the source. This was a hotel room, after all. There must be, there just has to be a Bible in this place somewhere. So I turned on the light, reached into the night table, and sure enough -- there was a Bible. And here is what I read when I found my way to Psalm Three: Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of me, "There is no help for him in God.” But Thou, O Lord, art a shield around me, My glory and the lifter of my head. I cry aloud to the Lord, And He answers me from His holy hill. Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my GOD!
I continued to read, exploring Psalms on either side of Psalm Three, all of which echoed the same message: “Thine enemies surround you, but don’t worry because I AM here; I AM your safeguard; I will protect you.” And my toe bone connected to my foot bone, and my foot bone connected to my ankle bone, and my ankle bone connected to my leg bone, and my leg bone connected to my hip bone-- as though GOD had reached down from on high to re-assemble me and assure me and restore me. I slept.
After just a few hours, I awoke refreshed, positive that GOD had spoken to me and positive that I had learned something important -- namely, to shut up and listen. If I could remember to do that, GOD would breathe life into me, even as I lay as just heap of dry, dead bones.
I think it's called Holy Ground.

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