This hour comes

Truly, truly I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life shall lose it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say, 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour: 'Father, glorify your name.' (John 12: 24, 25, 27, 28)

The weekend is full of events, heavy with expectations. We celebrate our brother's engagement, surrounded by his young friends, his beautiful fiancee. A chalkboard proclaims I Corinthians 13.

Sunday comes and goes, a sermon on 19th century spirituals and Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech. We sing "We Shall Overcome", joining our voices to those of the marchers that fateful day in 1968 as civil rights activists marched on Washington. Naps heavy and silent fill the house. Then a rowdy party, the football playoff game blaring and kids rambunctious.

This morning dawns early, in the dark late hours of the night, 4 a.m. devotions with my husband, eyelids still heavy and off to work. It is the day of my first injection, preparation for my radioactive iodine scan. I cannot comprehend that it is already upon me again, this next leavetaking from home. I pile up dirty laundry to wash, think about what warm blankets to pack.

While I join with Jesus as He wept at Gethsemane, I have to also own in His rhetorical question at the feasting table at Lazarus' home: shall I say, 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour, 'Father, glorify thy name.'

1373: Engagement party for Nick and Kathy
1377: Aunts watching children
1390: Sunday sermon
1392: Thyrogen