Archive for May 10th, 2022

A ‘Lap’ of Refuge 5-15-2022

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

A highly-skilled physician who treats patients with AIDS keeps a picture of her grandmother in her home. Every morning, before leaving for the hospital, she sits quietly before the picture. Her grandmother was an Italian-born woman who held her family close. Her wisdom was of the earth.
Once when Louisa was small, her kitten was killed in an accident. It was her first experience of death and she was devastated. Her Mom and Dad assured her not to be sad, that her kitten was now in heaven with God. But little Louisa found little comfort in that. She prayed, asking God to give her kitten back. But God did not answer.
In her anguish, she turned to her grandmother. “Why?” she asked. Her grandmother lifted her up and held her close. She did not tell her that her kitten was with God. Instead, she reminded her of the time when Grandpa died. She didn’t know why either. She prayed, but God did not bring Grandpa back. Louisa turned into the soft warmth of her grandmother’s shoulder and sobbed. At one point, she turned to see her grandmother crying, too.
Although her grandmother could not answer her question, a great loneliness was lifted and Louisa felt able to move on.
“My grandmother was a lap….a place of refuge” Louisa remembers. “I know a great deal about AIDS but what I really want to be for my patients is a lap, a place from which they can face what they have to face and not be alone.”
Our identity as disciples of Christ is centered in the compassion we extend to others – in our willingness to be a “lap”, a place of refuge, a source of peace for others. Our faithfulness in imitating the love of the Risen Jesus is not in having the right answers or in our dogmatic judgments but in our openness of heart and spirit to love selflessly, completely, unconditionally, as God has loved us in Christ.