I read an interesting and very compelling article in the local paper this morning. This article detailed the soft blue walls of the Covid ward in one of our two major hospitals and the plight of the nurses and techs who are immersed in the business of death, dying and prayer. The article reminded me that hell is all around us in America, the greatest nation on earth. It also reminded me that it is okay to rely on a living God when we are surrounded by Godlessness.
My first experiences with God, not the concept but the reality, occurred in Vietnam. When you are walking artillery in very close to kill an enemy that is determined to kill you, your attention turns, instinctively to God. It is a rare individual who is flirting with death that doesn’t ask for the Lords help. That I am sitting here, writing this piece, is the result of tremendous good fortune and the Lord’s generosity. My next intimate visits with the Lord occurred when I was tasked with providing some degree of certainty to the families of folks killed in car accidents, by criminal acts or at their own hand. I relied upon the Lord, often in silent prayer, to give me the strength to add dignity to the otherwise undignified death at hand. Death in these circumstances is a multi-sensory experience and is often accompanied by many vivid colors, each representative of the hell that is surrounding both the families and the first responders. I shall never forget an experienced Highway Patrol Captain, on his knees tearfully praying with the family of another trooper whose son was killed in front of them as they stood in their front yard. The child rode his bicycle across the road and was struck and killed by a good neighbor. Hell that day was a bright bluebird sky with white puffy clouds holding forth over a cold, asphalt gray road. This family was strong and yet relied upon the God that we are tossing out of America to provide the strength to endure their taste of hell.
The caregivers in the hospital mentioned in the beginning of this writing are living testaments to the strength of a God. When medical science is failing the patients, a regular occurrence with this invisible hell that has been unleashed upon us, they turn to prayer. They are experienced professionals who have joined the fight to keep their patients alive. Friendships develop and often, these providers are in a position to know when survival is unlikely. They are tasked with staying in the fight and acting as surrogate family, as the patient is most often relegated to a death without family present. They call upon the Lord to help the patient and themselves deal with the inevitability of a final, lonely demise in the powder blue room referred to as a Covid ward.
From experience, I can tell you that circumstances do exist where you call upon a spiritual being to help you avoid suffocation and panic when death is close enough to smell. If you are fortunate, you have the time to call upon the Lord before you breathe your last breath on earth. Many times you are not and an eleventh hour save is useless when you are taken in the tenth hour. Please take a moment to look around you and decide where you stand and who you want in your corner when the bell tolls. Are we going to sit idly by and let “progressive” America pitch God out of our lives? Are we going to let a political persuasion that believes it is okay to snip the spine of a newborn infant be our conscious? Are we helpless in the face of this same political persuasion that is going to make a faith a litmus test for a seat on the Supreme Court?
Back to where I began. My hat is off to folks who take on the responsibility of not only the maintenance of life, but a dignified exit from the life we have been given. Combat has an effect on everyone who experiences it. Police service has an effect on everyone who takes on the responsibility. Providing medical care, for folks who are afflicted with a scourge on a scale with Covid 19, will forever haunt the providers. If you have ever uttered “God help them” or “God bless them”, you are acknowledging the existence of the Master. We are taught that you deny the presence of God at your own peril.
Denying God is denying the reason America came into existence. He is not a statue to be torn down……and one way or another, he will be there at the end……How do you want the meeting to go?
4 thoughts on “Hell Comes in Many Colors…..”
Well said! One of your best pieces. Thank you for posting this.
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Thanks for reading, Doug and for the comment.
Your experiences were clearly life altering and your observations here are spot on. Great commentary Steve.
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Thanks for reading Gerry. It is good to hear from you!