"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."
Truth be told, I was nervous today.
I had the opportunity to go and be in the presence of a young couple who are walking in the shadow of death. My husband is a pastor, and I asked him if I could join him as he went to meet with a young couple from our church to pray for their 5 day old son. It was a long trip to the hospital, in a car with no air conditioning, but I would gladly make it again to pray for this sweet child and to be in this place, where angels reside.
I once walked through the valley they are traveling in, the valley that lies in the shadows of death. The unknown of what will come around each bend in the road. It is a tricky path, this rocky terrain, and it is one that is better traveled with the Shepperd near by.
Facing the hallways of the NICU valley with the tiny tubes, the nurses with needles, the doctors who share so little, the terminology that is so unfamiliar--and all with the most precious part of yourself in the clear plastic cradle. There are moments to celebrate, and then moments to grieve and they sometimes happen within a breath of each other.
Truth be told, I was nervous yesterday.
I had the occasion to go to the funeral of a young woman, a childhood friend of my daughter who is now walking on the other side of the shadow. I approached her parents at the church, because I knew from my time walking through their valley, that the best thing I could do, was give them another familiar face on this day. To allow another synapse to be fired in their brains and to release more memories. Precious and priceless memories.
I once walked through the valley they are traveling in, the valley that lies in the shadows of death. The finality of what came around that sharp bend in the road. It is a tricky path, this rocky terrain, and it is one that is better traveled with the Shepperd near by.
Facing the hallways of things that I will not ever do with my daughter. Watching as children her age grow and mature, but she forever remains as she was. Knowing that she is complete in the presence of her Savior, but that means she isn't with me. And so, missing her becomes part of what draws me nearer to He who could have saved her, but loved us both more.
Truth be told, I am not nervous for tomorrow.
I don't know what will happen. I do not know if I will walk in a shadow of death tomorrow, but I do know that if I do, I won't walk it alone. The impulses I have to pursue God originated with Him. As much as I long after Him to walk with me through these valleys, He longs for it even more. And, ultimately, while I may walk through the shadow of death, there is another shadow that shields my heart.
"Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you; your right hand upholds me."