Waiting in Someone's Garden
When I arrived at the hospital to be with Pat Sands early on Sunday morning of Father's Day 1983 the word was it could be a number of days before the swelling in Pat’s brain went down enough for them to operate. It was one of the moments when I wanted to desperately to do something and yet the only thing to do was to BE.
Though I did not share Sands’ religious beliefs I had grown up going to church, knew many of the Bible stories, and continued to find great inspiration and comfort in Jesus’ life and teachings.
Sitting in the waiting room that morning I thought of the last night of Jesus’ life. The only thing Jesus wanted from his closest friends was for them to be awake and alert and with him in the Garden. At that moment in the hospital I knew I would find a way to do just that for my friend.
Sands would not be alive long enough for me to find out what form that might have taken. He died shortly after 3 o’clock that afternoon.
Yet being with someone in their garden has become a root metaphor for how I try to live my life. I believe there is nothing more precious we can give to someone than our time and attention. It can take many forms. The beautiful irony of it is that by assuring someone they are not alone we ourselves are not alone.
I am including a variety of songs here. “Take Me” looks at what might happen if someone of faith had a chance to join Peter, James, and John that dark night. “They Might Be Angels” is inspired by the way I believe Jesus’ looked at life. “We Simply Must Believe” is inspired by a moment I spent on a dike on Fir Island looking out on the Olympics before turning around and facing the Cascades and Mt. Baker.
If you would like to join McCoy and me on September 13th you can get tickets at Brown Paper Tickets.