"VOCATUS ATQUE NON VOCATUS DEUS ADERIT"
Breath Prayer: “God will” “be there”
For me, hospice is a steady, faith-full teacher. Some of the lessons are more welcome than others. Some are easier than others. Some lessons come out of the blue. Some feel familiar, almost as though they are echoes of events from the past that have come round again in this new encounter.
Being invited into the final chapter of a person’s life is such a privilege. It’s holy ground. And this isn’t in a Hollywood way, but in a flesh and blood, in a laughter into tears way. And there are questions that companion this work: Is she suffering? Does he hear me? Will I see him again? Why did this happen, she is such a faithful person? Where is God in this?
Years ago I learned about the Latin inscription above the door of Carl Jung’s house in Kusnacht, Switzerland: "VOCATUS ATQUE NON VOCATUS DEUS ADERIT." In English, the inscription reads: "Called or not called, God will be there."
Here in these words I find solace. In these words I remember my roots. Here in these words I hear the voices of my elders who spoke of their faith. Here I can take another breath, another step. With these words I can begin again. For here in these words reside faith, hope and love.
Prayer: Holy One, you are always with us. When we lose sight of you, you are with us. When we feel distant, you are as close to us as our very next breath. When we forget to pray, you are leaning in anyway. We give thanks, gracious God, for your gift of love and for your abiding presence. Amen.
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.