Recently a friend and I delivered groceries to a family. There is much more to their side of the story than I know. Pieces include a terminally ill grandmother / mother under hospice care at home, financials that do not add up, and a struggle to hold onto hope. Knowing more would only increase the intensity of the lingering questions.
We called before coming to see if someone would be at home.
“Yes, we will be here. We are celebrating a birthday, so everyone is at home.”
As we walked up to the third floor, each floor seemed to get quieter and less connected with the world. The third was an almost silent space with a narrow, dimly lit hallway, with steel bar doors facing each other at regular distances as far as I could see. If each set of doors opened, I think they might hit. Halfway was a group of young kids sitting in the hallway, talking, quietly laughing. There was no food in sight, no music, not even a hint of cooking.
Each step brought sacks of stables and a few treats closer; everyone’s eyes focused on us. It was an awkward moment of being in the right place for the right reason yet feeling that everything somehow needed to be different.
We asked if this was the home of the elderly lady.
“Yes. You are the ones that called?”
Our assurances led to an invitation to come in which we politely declined. The bright smiles gave way to a petite and frail old lady who came to the door wondering who we were and why we were there.
“We are here on behalf of the hospice care authority. These are for you.”
With quiet tears flowing, I heard “thank-you” but it was the look in her eyes that said everything. I imagined her prayer; “‘They’ve served up the corpses of your servants as carrion food for birds of prey, threw the bones of your holy people out to the wild animals to gnaw on.’ (Psalm 79.2) You sent relief. Come again, soon.”