Cling to What is Good

by DanWolgemuth on March 18, 2016

This week Mary and I participated in a half-day marriage seminar. The presentation and conversation propelled me to a moment… to an instant… to an experience that took place in a hospital room on July 14, 2012. Mary was four days removed from a serious cycling accident. A skilled and seasoned Orthopedic surgeon had meticulously placed three screws in Mary’s broken pelvis and now the journey to recovery was underway.

As I entered the “classroom” of caregiving, I wrote the following:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9

I had crafted my game plan with the Occupational Therapist – I had practiced the drill. But when Allison, Mary’s Physical Therapist, suggested that I completely man- age Mary’s exit from her hospital bed, which included her successful navigation to a portable commode, and then her gentle return to bed, my heart skipped a beat. Reluctantly I agreed to embrace the challenge, and more importantly, Mary affirmed the delegation.

With a “Gait Belt” around Mary’s midsection I gently, but confidently, hoisted her from the edge of the hospital bed to a standing position. She stood, all her weight appropriately shifted to her right side. I clung to her. Really clung to her.

She reciprocated.

In the middle of room 605 at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington we clung to each other like never before. It wasn’t romantic, it was glorious. It wasn’t simply functional, it was beautiful.  Thirty-four years of marriage distilled into one necessary embrace – and it converted that moment into the essence of commitment and love and tenderness. Spontaneously Mary kissed my neck. I had never been kissed like that – never with such gratitude and hope and promise and trust.

Minutes later I placed her in the appropriate location and within a few minutes I had safely and effectively returned her to her bed.

Buried in that 30-minute caregiver dress rehearsal, I heard wedding vows from 34 years earlier echo in my mind and land in my heart. It produced a chorus of gratitude and joy and hope and praise and worship. We were safe in each other’s arms.

Broken, but safe. Uncertain, but safe. Fearful, but safe.

On April 8th, 1978 I made a promise to Mary’s parents, our friends, and our Heavenly Father… and today, promises became reality; we cashed the check of commitment and it cleared the bank. Yes indeed, cling to what is good.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: