Right now people we love are gathered to worship. I had outfits and shoes ready, bags packed, all ready for our family to keep the commandment, “Honor the Sabbath and Keep it Holy”. The pastor will be preaching on the first of the Ten Commandments. …
Instead we are home. Calls and texts come from our loved ones at the church asking if we are alright. I tell them that everything changed in twelve hours and Jonathan can’t come to church. Keep the Sabbath Holy. Holy does mean separate. Our family certainly is set apart.
We are waiting to hear back from the hospital about when to come in for a blood transfusion. Jonathan complained of a racing heartbeat and painful flutters last night, which are symptoms of one of his chemotherapy medications. His counts were borderline, so we are being careful. This morning his chest pains are gone, but we now know the signs that he is crashing.
He plays more quietly. He wants to sit with Legos instead of running around. He cries when overwhelmed. He naps. The only color in his face is the deep purple under his eyes.
This summer was glorious. We went outside. We played with friends. We LEFT THE HOUSE! We went to church every week as an entire family, whole and thankful to be in the Lord’s house on the Sabbath. It built up such glorious hopes. We were in and among you, working and celebrating. Now we must separate and rest.
We must cleanse, purify, and prepare. Now I make daily assessments of their health and desire if sending them to school is worth the risk. We wait and obey, looking full into the face of the Worst Case Scenario, because we not only walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death– we set up camp there.
I pull the last Clorox wipe out of the container. Thwip. I wipe down the baby gate and stair rail one more time.
The laundry chime pleasantly dings. I move the disinfected sheets from the washer, Lucy, to the dryer, Ethel. I pull the laundry bin close to my hip and turn to my machines as I flip the light. They hum gently, as if to say, “We are ready when you are, Momma. Preferably before the mildew sets, though.”
Laundry is forever.
Upstairs the oils are diffusing. Bottles of vitamins and probiotics are scattered across the counter. Industrial sized bottles of disinfectants crown each table top. Paperwork on chemotherapy side effects with emergency numbers hang on the refrigerator next to art from the first day of Kindergarten.
The Shadow of Death may cast over our home, but darkness makes it easy to see the Light. We purify the tables and our hearts. We face the things that would make us sick and destroy our well-being. We guard our home and our hearts.
We cannot go into the Lord’s house, but we still worship. We remember the Sabbath. Today, we keep it holy– but realize how broken, sick, and in need we are. We face the Big, Hard Questions, like Can We Trust God? He Is Good, but Is He Good To Us? What Will Hit Us Next?
Never take it for granted that you can get up and go worship the Lord with others. Ever. We hope to be back in church soon… with Germ-X on our hands.