Following love into mystery

February 22, 2017 in News

My father died of cancer and our family had the privilege of nursing him at home. Shortly before he died, he went into a coma so it was difficult to get water into his mouth. My mother was at her wits end and I suggested if we had an ear- drop squirter yoke – a pipette – we might be able to squirt the water into the back of his throat. It was a desperate, stupid suggestion and we had no such thing. But we muddled through the day.

That night I was putting my three year old niece Stefanie to bed. A full moon was shining through the landing window as we climbed the stairs. The despairing thought crossed my mind that, as my heart was breaking, G-d was as impassive and indifferent as that moon. “Do you know or care that my beloved daddy is dying?” I heard myself say. “Or are you like the G-d of Deism– who winds up the clockwork universe and retires?”

I read Stefanie her stories and as I was leaving her bedroom she called me back, once to tell her another story, the next time to give her another kiss. The third time she called me I was feeling a bit exasperated, anxious to get back to Daddy downstairs.

I went back into her room saying “This better be good”. “I have a present for you” she sing-songed, and pulling back her duvet she produced – an ear drop squirter, a pipette. “I had sore ears one time, my mammy got that for me and I kept it for you”

Two days later Daddy died. He weighed five and half stone and all his major organs had broken down. But the angel Stephanie in a town called Derry had brought us the good news that G-d was indeed the Word made flesh, living among us, urging us follow love into mystery.


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