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Valley of the Shadow

April 2, 2014

White Horse Temple Doorway, Luoyang, Photo by kevinmcgill of Den Bosch, Netherlands (CC ASA 2.0 Gen)

Over the past year or more, my mother has been so often hospitalized we have lost track. One hospital room looks much like another. One ambulance trip, one emergency room visit blends into the next.

As it turns out, the valley of the shadow of death is frequently linoleum tiled. Acrid medicinal odors, cries of pain, and calls for help define its borders. Silent prayers rise from its depths like incense. Angels wearing scrubs hover nearby.

This journey we call life takes us places we do not wish to go.

The body weakens, robbing us of dignity. The mind falters, misplacing priceless memories as we might misplace a pair of gloves. We become dependent on pills and capsules, canes and walkers, hearing aids and oxygen tanks.

We wrestle with imponderables: How long will we have to bear this suffering? How much can our loved ones stand without collapsing, themselves? And all the while death casts its shadow over us.

As Christians, we know that shadow is an illusion. We know death in this world is merely a prelude to eternal life in the next. It is the transition which is painful…and the loss loved ones must endure ‘til we meet again.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me
…” (Psalm 23: 4).

Lord Jesus, You gave Your life to overcome sin and death for our sakes. In the certain knowledge of Your love, we cast our cares on You.

Extend Your mercy to all those dear to us, Lord, especially those in need of healing.  If it is Your will that they depart this world, give them a peaceful end.  If we may yet have time with them here, grant them restored health.

We ask this in Your holy Name.



  1. Amen. I join you in prayer. My mother’s health as also deteriorated over the past few years and I pray that she will not suffer. Many blessings to you and your family. I will be praying for your mom.

  2. Thank you for your kind heart. I am sorry to hear about your mother. Sometimes all we can do for our loved ones is stand by them and pray. We are all in God’s hands.

  3. I’m catching up on my reading today, Anna and I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. I will keep her and your family in my prayers.

  4. God bless you, Kerri. You’re in my prayers too.

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