GRACE CALLED MY NAME...I was just lying there curled up in a ball, dead tired, and so exhausted. My body was begging for rest, but my spirit couldn't give in. Bucket loads of guilt, pain, and helplessness gnawed at my insides. Everything in me was raw and oozing.
My mind started drifting, spiraling down into the only place left. As I closed my eyes, I knew I was slowly being sucked into who knows where by who knows what. But I didn't care. This all couldn't be real, anyway...
"Gloria!" A static jolt bounced off one side of my mind to the other, crackling through every nook and cranny of my existence. I heard the voice from beginning to end, but it never left, floating everywhere, holding me close somehow through wisps of audible notes...
"What in the world...." I managed to say out loud. I propped my arms up on the cot in the waiting room and scanned the weary crowd gathered there. I threw one leg over the cold, metal side and slid down to the floor in a heap. Exhausted, I pushed myself up with all four hands and staggered over to the group gathered several feet away.
"Mama, what is it?" I asked my Mother busily engaged in conversation near me.
Her questioning eyes met mine. "Didn't you call me? I queried.
"No, honey." she replied. Her eyes furrowed into a deep frown. "Did we wake you? I'm so sorry! We were trying to be quiet so you could sleep."
She looked as though she was in excruciating pain. I'd seen enough of that look to last me a lifetime. As I turned away, I managed to mumble "I thought someone called me" before I beat a hasty retreat back to the safety of my little cot. I just sat there, bug-eyed, with my head in my hands. I kept thinking over and over. " I know I heard my name."
As I hoisted myself up to survey the room again, I heard the intercom click and the announcement begin. "Code Blue, Intensive Care. Code Blue Intensive Care." My heart was racing, my pulse banging in my temple with a sonic boom.
I'd heard those words several times in the 5 days I'd been in that waiting room, but it had never affected me like this. I bolted off the cot and raced through the waiting room. I planted my feet squarely in front of the Intensive Care entrance, braced myself, and yanked on the door with both hands. As I clamored through, I knew I was breaking hospital rules by being in the unit without permission. But no one even noticed me. A sea of white coats was rushing back and forth in a frenzy. The same doors I had struggled to open, now flailed open and shut wildly as carts, machinery and more white coats flooded the area.
Oh God! They're in Jon Jon's room! I slammed through the door back out into the hospital hall, forced my body against a wall and felt myself sliding down onto the cold floor. Everyone who had been with me in the waiting room now lined the hospital corridor around me.
"It's Jon Jon!" I screamed. And screamed. And screamed. One of my friends grabbed my arm and I could see her mouth moving. It took me a few seconds to hear what she was saying. Trying to calm me, she reminded me a code had been called several times for another little girl in the unit. I watched her face drain of color when I told her I had seen the medical team respond to the code and they were in Jon Jon's room.
The whole world moved in slow motion after that. There were more screams, crying, and the sounds of feet shuffling down the hallway to the "family room" to wait. I was shaking like I was in a deep freezer. I couldn't stop. Oddly, the physical movement seemed to be out of my control, exerting a eery calm over me.
A doctor came in. He focused his eyes and the floor and told us that Jon's heart had just stopped. They tried everything, but couldn't get his heart rhythm back. I began repeating the thought in my head methodically, like a robot. "Okay, he's dead. You ran over Jon Jon with your car and now he's dead. Okay." I waited to feel something. Anything!
I walked back into the intensive care unit, then into Jon Jon's cubicle. My family was gathered around his bed and everyone was sobbing, some mumbling well-intentioned phrases.
"It must be God's will." The weight of those words flattened me like a Mack truck. It's God's will that I run over my own child, that I stand here looking at his body? Has everyone gone crazy?
I spread my hands over Jon's chest, pushing in and out, wildly, desperately trying to make his heart beat again. I looked at him, lying there in those hospital pajamas, his head a swath of bandages, his body so still. A scream began down deep in my gut, but it got stuck somewhere, and began expanding like a bulging air bubble in my gut.
Then, voices came from white coats that entered the room, asking crazy questions like, "Which mortuary do you want to pick up his body?"
I just shook my head in disbelief. "What? I have to do what?"
Another voice said "Sign here. " I saw my hand sliding across the paper. An arm grabbed mine, and began to pull me through the open doorway. There were sounds of heels clicking on raw, hard stone. I moved like an obedient robot through the hospital corridor to the front entrance. I squinted as the harsh light of day hit my eyes for the first time in a week.
I felt them immediately. That had to be raindrops. But why did they feel like rose petals falling on my face? Soft, so soft! I closed my eyes and wished I could disappear inside them. When I opened my eyes I looked up and out at the same time.
I knew in an instant. The increduality of the moment was etched in my soul permanently. Jesus was crying! And his tears were falling on me! And for me! And as I began to cry uncontrollably, I knew we were grieving, together, for OUR son...
Many years have passed since that desperate time in my life. But I remember it like it was yesterday. The trauma of my past continues to shock my present, many times beyond my control. Just when I think I've awakend from that nightmare, the surreal choices of others around me have pushed me right back to the same desperation and despair.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about why it is that we all do what we do. I've come to the conclusion that God's word describes it best. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23.
That pretty much describes all of us, all of the time. If we believe anything more than that of ourselves, we're in for a terrible, rude awakening. Jesus is our only chance. Only He can take away our darkest nightmare and awaken us with His tears. Only Jesus can take away the awful loneliness of this fallen, crazy life. We are nothing without Him!
But we must be desperate for Jesus! We have to need Him more than our next breath! He won't come to us because of an intellectual decision, or a prompted walk down an aisle. Nor will He come just because we're scared to death of the thought of going to Hell. And we're terribly mistaken if we think we can make Him come to us through some pious religious action.
Lying on that little cot all those years ago, I finally realized that I was nothing and I deserved nothing. In my nothingness, I cried out to God, and He answered. He called my name. Grace called my name! He stopped my spiralling descentl into my dark abyss and lifted me up into His presence.
"Gloria!" When I finally realized that I was nothing, I cried out to Him as God Almighty, my Maker and Sustainer...my EVERYTHING!
He was right there, and He answered me.
For the rest of my days, I'll shout it from the rooftops! I'll write it across the entire world and onto the highest heavens! God heard my cry! And out of everything He could have possibly said, He simply called my name! GRACE CALLED MY NAME!!!
...He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Click on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vquc1FovPOI to hear the song "Grace Has Called My Name" from the album "I Belong" by Kathryn Scott.