what sarah said

"What Sarah Said" - Death Cab for Cutie

And it came to me then that every plan

Is a tiny prayer to father time
As I stared at my shoes in the ICU
That reeked of piss and 409
And I rationed my breaths as I said to myself
That I’ve already taken too much today
As each descending peak on the LCD
Took you a little farther away from me
Away from me

Amongst the vending machines and year-old magazines
In a place where we only say goodbye
It stung like a violent wind that our memories depend
On a faulty camera in our minds
And I knew that you were a truth I would rather lose
Than to have never lain beside at all
And I looked around at all the eyes on the ground
As the TV entertained itself

‘Cause there’s no comfort in the waiting room
Just nervous pacers bracing for bad news
And then the nurse comes ‘round and everyone lift their heads
But I’m thinking of what Sarah said
That love is watching someone die
So who’s gonna watch you die?

I'm listening to the latest Death Cab for Cutie CD (it came out last August but is new to me). This song stopped me in my tracks. It perfectly captures that moment of being in the ICU watching a loved one wither away or in pain. I know … I've been there … more than once. It's been a few years, but this song took me instantly back to that space .. physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I've got a few friends who are spending some time in this space. They're asking those questions that don't really have answers … How could God let this happen? Why? How could their loved one possibly deserve this?

I wrote a fairly philosophical post a while back spurred on by the experience of journeying along with my friends through this time and space. When you're in that space, the unanswerable questions can be all consuming and lead to some pretty interesting conversations with the big guy, alternating with giving him the cold shoulder.

Having just walked with the suffering Jesus through Holy Week and celebrating his resurrection Easter Sunday, we have some clues to one of the big questions … "Where is God in all of this?." In the song by Death Cab for Cutie, the clue is in the line "But I'm thinking of what Sarah said, that love is watching someone die." God is there in our love. God is there oddly enough in the pain we feel deep down inside at seeing our loved one suffer, at the thought of losing them. God is there as we sit with our loved one, holding their hand and watching the " descending peak on the LCD." Crappy as it is, love is watching someone die. Love is holding your friends in prayer as they walk this path with their loved ones. It's not easy. But it oh so human … and divine.

Deep philosophical interlude over.

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