Carrie Newcomer sings
“You can do this hard thing
You can do this hard thing
It’s not easy I know
But I believe that it’s so
You can do this hard thing.”
I have what could be seen as a hard thing, to do today. After I’m picked up at the Houston airport, we’ll drive down to the periphery of the Texas Medical Center to Houston Hospice. These are old stomping grounds for me.
I studied at the UT School of Public Health, and then went on to have a career in the medical research field. My studies and my office were in the center of the Center.
A few years into my work I felt called to become a hospice volunteer. And so I went through the required training and for the next number of years I was present with those making their final earthly journey. I did this work in this place where I am going today.
I wrote about my faith journey recently. One thing I did not mention was the role music played in seeking and finding faith. Specifically Christian music. It seems odd to think about how far I had removed myself from God, while holding on to God’s songs.
There was an organist at the church where my family worshipped, and where years later I returned and kick-started my faith. Tony. Precious Tony, who had a wondrous ability to play the organ, a love of the music, and the sparkle when he smiled and led the choir and the congregation in praising God in song.
All this to say, he was a part of my faith journey. For many years I would run into Tony at local concerts. We always enjoyed chatting and catching up.
I learned last night that he has been admitted to hospice.
Beth knows him well. She asked if I wanted to go visit Tony. Of course I do. Of course I want to do this hard thing. I suspect, tho, that in the midst of this hard thing there will be grace and joy and reunion — and it willl not be so hard after all.
From the service of Compline, Book of Common Prayer:
“Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love’s sake.” Amen.