Thursday, February 10, 2005


Read Psalm 27

Last night, at our Ash Wednesday service, we sang the Taize song,
"Wait for the Lord."

Wait for the Lord, whose day is near,
wait for the Lord, keep watch, take heart.

As usual, the words and tune stuck in my brain for the rest of the night.

Which is good, because I needed those words, and that music, on this day which had finally come near, as we waited at the probate court for the hearing concerning Teddy's new placement. We waited, and waited, and waited - not for the Lord, but for the creaky wheels of bureaucracy to turn. And if you think waiting is hard for you, imagine what it is like to be Teddy, with limited cognition and understanding, yet fully aware that whatever was going on, impacted on him and his life.

And so we waited, and watched the various families and groupings that moved in and out of the hearing room. Some kids were surrounded by a crowd of family and friends who were there to lend support. Others looked forlornly down the hallway wondering if anyone, other than the case manager and the public defender, would be there with them.

We waited, and it finally came to be our turn. And we filed into the hearing, Teddy not sure what was to take place (but taking notice of the officers of the court with their weapons showing); parents struggling to be strong and have courageous hearts; caregivers, psychologists, attorneys. And tagging along behind was that great cloud of witnesses who have wept, prayed, watched, supported, waited, and encouraged us through all the years, through all the pain and heartache, from all those places throughout the world.

And then, in that strange and sad place, I saw it - the goodness of the Lord. I saw it in the court appointed attorney who treated Teddy as more than just a case to check off his daytimer, but as a unique person whom he might represent for only a few minutes, but would do so as if Teddy was his own son. I saw the goodness of the Lord in Alan, Teddy's friend (and service provider for the last five years) when he broke down in tears telling the court about wanting to find the best place for Teddy to be Teddy. And I saw it, as I always do, in Teddy's face, as his raw, elemental trust in every person in that room brightened a cold, snowy day.

The Lord is Teddy's light and Teddy's salvation;
the Lord is Teddy's stronghold in life:
so, how can I be afraid?

I will wait, and watch, and take heart.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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