This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.—John 15:12 (ESV)
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.—Psalm 56:3 (NIV)
“Mom, what scares you the most?” I asked one day as I held her hands in mine.
“I hate the mask. It looks like Hannibal Lecter’s in Silence of the Lambs.” Mom’s eyes opened wide. Terror filled them. “I feel trapped in that mask. I know I can breathe; there are holes cut for my nose and mouth, but when the machine starts up, I want to scream.”
“I can go with you,” I told her. “Would you like that?”
The next appointment, we walked in together. “Let’s get started,” the nurse said. She took Mom’s hand and brought her over to the table, where Mom laid her head on a contoured pillow. Then the nurse gently placed the mask over her face, covering her eyes, nose and lips, almost everything except her lower left jaw where the cancer was. I sat in a plastic chair, far from the machine, but still in the room.
“Honey, are you still here?” Mom cried out, her voice thin beneath the mask.
“Yes, Mom, I’m right here.” When the session was over, I pulled her close in a warm hug. “You did great, Mom. I’m so proud of you.”
Fear faced alone is often an overwhelming feeling, but fear shared can make an experience less traumatic.
Lord, help me to ease the burdens loved ones carry.
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