Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

This part of compline in the Book of Common Prayer brought me a real peace the other night in a scary time. We are in a scary time. On Tuesday Chris’s blood levels dropped critically, in response to the “line holiday” surgery. He was moved to the ICU, and as I sat in a stupor in this new room on a new floor with all new staff, I was asked what my wishes were for his code status. …We who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life…. God’s grace came to me in the three men who showed up shortly thereafter–priests from our church–whose presence comforted me. We went through compline together. They sang a portion in a baritone unison. Even Chris, in half-lucidity, said it was beautiful.

So that we who are wearied…may rest in your eternal changelessness…. As we recited the collect together, I had a sense of looking on something big, something undergirding, something solid, unmoving. Within and on the surface were the shifting things, the tossing things, us–all of us and everything we experience. But we were encompassed, so far beyond our vision, by the pearly white and pristine and unruffled expanse. It was too big to even see from within, but for a moment I had a bird’s eye view.

I am wearied by the changes and chances of this life. And, frankly, I don’t believe these chances and changes are going to resolve as my heart aches for. Chris’s internal bleeding did stop; after five units of blood he was stable. But his systems aren’t working well at all, and health is falling away from him. For our first few weeks in the hospital we seemed to be dealing with one hurdle at a time, resolving each problem as it arose. But the hurdles are piling up. Fluid is continuing to build up in Chris’s abdomen and then up into his lungs. He has been short of breath and panicky. Today they drained a liter from around his left lung, but this fluid buildup will continue. His liver isn’t able to maintain his blood sugars and they’ve dipped to critically low at points; he’s receiving amps of dextrose several times a day. He had dialysis today, which I’m very thankful for, but they weren’t able to pull off much fluid from his arms and legs because his blood pressure began dropping. We’ve been getting further and further from a second round of chemo, because there are too many issues to take care of first. We’ve also now seen on a CT scan that there’s been no change in Chris’s cancer after our first round. If we get to a round two, I’m not sure if we’d stick to the same regimen or change drugs.

Today I have grieved in a new way. Maybe tomorrow Chris will be experiencing more fully the benefits of these procedures and treatments and he will be lucid and calm and I will get to engage my best friend. It may very well happen. It’s hard to predict a day based on the day before. But even still, his body. None of these treatments can fix how his body is functioning. They are therapeutic efforts to sustain his life. This reality is sinking in to deeper and deeper places in me.

I am learning, because I have no choice, to put my hope in the changelessness of God, to put my rest in that placid and solid expanse in which we live and move and have our unpredictable being. I think he is calling us to look beyond–to look for what is underneath and holding us. I know that He Is. Thanks be to God.

147 thoughts on “Changelessness

  1. Pingback: viagra overdose chastity caption

  2. Pingback: viagra online herbal club

  3. instagram takipçi satın al

    Satın alıncak olan takipçi adedinin değişikliğine ve seçilmiş olan unsurların haline
    göre de fiyatların değişiklık gösterdikleri bilinmektedir.

    bu platformlardan yararlanmak isteyen şahıslar amacıyla değişik
    alternatifler sunularak ideal fiyatlı ya da istenilen nedenlere
    ideal olan paketlerin sunulduğu bilinmelidir.

  4. leke kremi

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what
    all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours
    would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% sure.
    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

  5. takip2018 com

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to
    this site before but after browsing through some of the
    post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found
    it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  6. 0mniartist

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your
    blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon! asmr 0mniartist

  7. tiktok takipçi satın al

    Hiya! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site
    mobile friendly? My website looks weird when browsing
    from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this problem.
    If you have any recommendations, please share. Cheers!

  8. satın al

    Sosyal medya üzerinde izlenirliğinizin artmasıyla başlayan reklam gelirleriniz
    ile ticari dünyayı kolay bir şekilde yönetebileceksiniz.

    Kendinize ait bir alan içinde, sınırsızlığınızı ilan ederek
    hayal ettiğiniz yere ulaşmak çok kolay. Youtube dünyasında sizin için bekleyen bir
    gelecek var.
    youtube türk abone satın al işlemi yaptıkran sonra
    youtube keşfet için izlenmede satın almalısınız.. .

  9. instagram takipçi satın al

    İnstagram kullanıcıları daha aktif ve etkin olmasını istiyorsanız takipçi sayınızı belirli
    bir düzeye ulaştırmalısınız.
    Bunun kendi imkanlarınızla kısa sürelerde
    hallediyor olmanız neredeyse imkansızdır.
    İnstagram takipçi satın al hizmeti ile hesaplarınızda istediğiniz sayılarda takipçi sahibi olabilirsiniz.

    Bu alanda hizmet veren ve takipçi satışı yapan platformları kullanabilirsiniz.
    Takip 2018
    Instagram Takipçi Satın Al hizmetleriyle aktif bir şekilde
    takipçi hizmeti veriyor

  10. takip2018

    If some one needs expert view concerning blogging and site-building after that i propose him/her to pay a
    quick visit this web site, Keep up the fastidious work.


    certainly like your website but you need to check the spelling on quite a few
    of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling
    issues and I to find it very troublesome to tell the truth however I will certainly come back


    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what
    all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks ps4 games 185413490784 ps4 games

  13. gamefly

    When someone writes an piece of writing he/she retains the idea of a user in his/her brain that how a user can understand it.

    So that’s why this paragraph is great. Thanks! ps4 games 185413490784 ps4 games

  14. brujos que ayudan gratis

    Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What an ideal web site.

  15. zortilonrel

    Thank you, I have just been looking for information approximately this subject for a long time and yours is the best I’ve came upon so far. However, what about the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the supply?


    Pretty element of content. I simply stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact loved account your blog posts.
    Anyway I’ll be subscribing in your feeds and even I success you get
    admission to consistently quickly.

  17. cheap flights

    Wonderful blog you have here but I was curious if you knew of any forums
    that cover the same topics talked about in this article?

    I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get
    comments from other experienced individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.

    Bless you!

  18. Bonnie McMaken

    “See, I will create
    new heavens and a new earth.
    The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.
    18 But be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I will create,
    for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
    and its people a joy.
    19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
    and take delight in my people;
    the sound of weeping and of crying
    will be heard in it no more.

    20 “Never again will there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not live out his years;
    the one who dies at a hundred
    will be thought a mere child;
    the one who fails to reach[a] a hundred
    will be considered accursed.
    21 They will build houses and dwell in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
    22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
    or plant and others eat.
    For as the days of a tree,
    so will be the days of my people;
    my chosen ones will long enjoy
    the work of their hands.
    23 They will not labor in vain,
    nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
    for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
    they and their descendants with them.
    24 Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.
    25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food.
    They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,”
    says the Lord.

  19. Patricia Gehringer

    Prating for Chris. Praying for pea e and comfort. Thank you for sharing this difficult journey you are going through Sarah. May God give healing to Chris and continued strength for you Sarah. Your faith is so powerful, God is with you though each step.

  20. Emily Blair

    Dear Scherfs, the people of St. Brendan’s Anglican in Bellingham are praying for you. Our Bishop interceded for you at our morning service today. You are loved. My soul is groaning too.

  21. Ruth Bowman

    Dearest Chris, Sarah & family ~ * ~ thank you so much for sharing the painful, loving journey of all these too many challenges ~ testing you to your limits, then showing you “aha” ~ there’s even a whole ‘nother mountain range of struggle & possibilities beyond that. I am humbled and honored by your honesty and love pouring forth through your words & deeds, and your community of friends, family & community strengthen my heart with all the love that surrounds you. Please rest in some comfort knowing that whatever is happening is shared, you are not alone. My heart feels so blessed to know and love you all. A big mighty hug enfolds you from your wider family out here in this wild, wooly earth * o * Peace & joy to you * o *

  22. Rachel Mink Spencer

    Sarah, Chris, children, may God give you grace upon grace in this valley. You have been in my prayers for weeks since I heard of Chris’s illness. May you be held so close in God’s care.

  23. Jane Ketcham

    No words. Praying for peace and comfort for y’all and your whole family. May God be merciful as you walk through this. Thank you for sharing your hearts with us.

  24. Kathy Acton

    Hi Sarah, I don’t know you and Chris, but my 3 sons love Chris and your family and have shared this website with me and asked for prayer. Praying for you both and all your family. No words. Praying you experience God’s strength, comfort and peace in a supernatural way and of course for healing.

  25. Amy E.

    Dear Sarah, that God has given you the incredible gift of being able to put into words the deepest thoughts of your soul right now…thank you for allowing us to travel through this with you as we watch and pray on behalf of your whole family. Praying for His comfort, peace and rest…you are dearly and greatly loved. 🙏❤

  26. Sara Baugh

    Sarah, I am praying for you, Chris, and all the family and am claiming these words for you and Chris, “Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His word.”

  27. Claudia Gerwin

    Dear Sarah:

    You don’t know me – I work at Christianity Today, and Corey Whitehead asked us to pray for Chris and you. That white, peaceful expanse you talk about – I called it the Father keeping me in a bell jar – and despite the storms, thunder, hurricanes and tornadoes going on outside that bell jar this past year with my husband’s final illness, what was being pumped into the bell jar was peace from the Throne of the Father. I breathed peace! I will continue to pray for you and Chris, that you will know the peace that passes all understanding. I have learned as well that God is ALWAYS good – may you have that assurance as you wait on Him.

  28. Sandra Coir Bilbrey

    Peace my dear Sarah and Chris. Peace that passes all understanding is so precious, I feel like God has gifted you with it as the rx for this. I don’t say this lightly, as i have walked in a similar Valley to be lifted to the heights when God intervened and made the decision.

  29. Matthew

    Lord Jesus, meet Chris with your tender touch. Bear him up. Bear so very near to him. Send your Spirit to minister your love and grace and healing to the deepest parts of him. Your reach is boundless and your presence is all stability. Gentle Jesus, be with Sarah and touch her heart and soul and mind. Bring calm and rest and peace. Hold them both in your loving arms.

  30. Nicky & Becky Barbee

    Sarah, thank you for including us on this journey with you and Chris. We are praying for God’s comfort…God’s peace for you both. We love y’all and your precious family. In Christ.

  31. Joel

    Lord Jesus, may Sarah and Chris find *rest* in your compassionate love as you bear their grief and carry their sorrows, ever interceding for them before your Father.

  32. Laura Leonard

    Sarah, I continue praying for you, Chris, and the kids throughout every day. I am praying that through His Spirit God would wrap you both in His arms and give you the strength, peace, comfort, and hope that only He can provide.

  33. Catherine Heinzerling

    Heavenly Father, be a guide and comforter to Chris and Sarah. Help them to be content in knowing you and your love. Be close to them when they suffer the “whys”. Assure them of your constant love and care. Continue to warm them with a love in Christ as they face the challenges and the unknowns ahead. In Jesus’ name. Amen

  34. Betsy Kopecky

    Father, may you continue to give Sarah and Chris a vision of ‘the pearly white, the pristine, and the unruffled expanse’. May your Presence and Light fill their room….their hearts. Though Your purposes and plans are beyond tracing out, we do know Your love is unfailing and You watch over your sheep. These are your promises and they will stand.

  35. Paul and Carol Kennemur

    I am a family member of one of your friends. We have been praying and continue to pray for Chris and your precious family. We don’t understand God’s plan, and even question it at times, but He is unchanging! His plan is perfect! Oh how I pray God will continue to give you hope and comfort. My small group is praying.

  36. Dorothy Parker

    Lord we know that you hold all things together. We pray that you would hold Sarah together. Hold Chris together and the kids. Carry Sarah. Carry Chris. Carry the kids. Wrap them all up in your peace as a blanket. Hold them so close that they would feel no fear, but rest in your unchanging grace and mercy and goodness.

  37. Nan Brinkerhoff

    Ohh sweet Sara, continuing to pray for the Lord’s deep shalom for you and for Chris and continuing to pray for wisdom and compassion for his doctors and nurses. Also praying for your kiddos and for Ruth.

  38. Johannah Baltensperger

    We are praying for you. You are so precious in God’s sight Sarah and Chris. You and your children. He is holding you in his gaze.

  39. Rod and Karen Griffon

    Oh dear God be present and merciful to Chris and Sarah at this time. Let peace flow, Let hope be renewed and let anxieties and fears diminish ! Please let pain disappear and let your strength be felt! Oh spirit wrap your arms around Chris and Sarah And their whole family …… We love you guys and are praying!

  40. Henry

    Yes! The compline collects are among the most beautiful; when darkness falls there is Jesus in His celestial brightness. Lord, thank you for suffering alongside Chris, and we beg for healing.

  41. Fr Gerry and Jean

    Wow, Sarah, God is bringing you to a place in Him that few have seen.
    Jonathan Edwards wrote that God’s way with us is to make life unpleasant so that we yearn for heaven and don’t cling to this earth. Perhaps that is part of what is going on.
    We pray today that God send you and Chris relief.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.