I've been reading an amazing book by Mother Teresa (the title escapes me now...) but she writes of how Jesus is hidden in the poor and suffering, and how she and others met Him during her work in Calcutta.
Today, I met Him, too.
At about 7 AM this morning, I awoke to a knock on the basement door. It was my sister, who tearfully explained that we had just received a call that Papere (my maternal grandfather) was moved from the nursing home to the Emergency Room. His heart rate was at 160, and he was unresponsive.
After dressing quickly and feeding Joseph, my husband and I, along with the rest of my family, piled into the car to go to the Emergency Room.
To make a very long story short, once we arrived at the Emergency Room, Papere's vitals had stabilized (as much as they could), but his white blood cell count was up and he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
After my parents and aunts and uncles had visited with him and Fr. R had arrived to give him the Anointing of the Sick, my husband and I went in to go see him.
When I first peered behind the curtain, I'm sure that I gasped. He was draped across the hospital bed, head tilted to one side, and looked just like the image of Christ in the Pieta. Pale skin just barely stretched over his bones and his blind eyes were cloudy. I held his hand, which seemed as delicate as a baby bird's wing.
While he wasn't sure who we were the entire time we visited, I could see that he was comforted by the touch of someone who cared for him. Several times, he called out, "Almighty God! Why won't you take me?" and my heart ached, remembering Jesus on the Cross, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
How I longed to comfort him- but realized my helplessness- and my littleness. It's humbling to realize that sometimes the only comfort one can really give is time and prayer.
Right now, he is being admitted to the hospital and my mother is with him.
I am so thankful I was able to be at the hospital today. Not only could I be with my grandfather, but I saw the "hidden" Jesus revealed in his suffering.