Happy are those who consider the poor;
the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.
2 The Lord protects them and keeps them alive;
they are called happy in the land.
You do not give them up to the will of their enemies.
3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed;
in their illness you heal all their infirmities.
13 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen. Psalm 41:1-3, 13; NRSV
My mom made it through the surgery. I knew she would, but I was still disorientated. My only hope and salvation in all of this, I knew that God was with me. God was with me when I was told the surgeon had to remove part of her brain. God was with me when I saw her the next Friday and my mom was in a coma. (Every Friday morning, we would leave home to go and see our mom every weekend.) We all took turns in her room, praying, sometimes singing, reading, or just talking to her. We were encouraging her. We knew she could and would beat the odds. We all knew God was with her too. The hospital kept her until she got better, but she was still unconscious. She was transferred to a facility for therapy. When she left the hospital, she was still unconscious.
My mom is like the psalmist. My mom always considers the poor. Each of us knows a person like her. My mom is one of those persons who are always doing something for someone less fortunate without any accolades. She doesn’t just talk love, but shows love. She is what I would call a good neighbor, a Matthew 25:35-36 disciple, “ . . . I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’” I knew, like all my sisters that God would deliver her in this day of trouble. We knew that our Lord and Savior would not give her up to death, but instead sustain her on her sickbed and heal all of her infirmities. We knew this, we just didn’t know how.
The hospital discharged her. They could not do anything else for her. She was still unconscious. The facility she was taken to was closer to her home and to my sisters who lived near her. Disorientation. Days later, she finally was conscious. My mom was partially paralyzed. Disorientation. She could not move part of her left side. Disorientation. She could not walk. Disorientation. Not only that, it was difficult for her to speak. Disorientation. She was given physical therapy. She was given speech therapy. My mother had always been independent, now she was dependent upon others for her activities of daily living. Disorientation. My mother had always used very few words to get her point across. Now it was a struggle to make others understand her. Disorientation. I could see the frustration in her eyes when I didn’t understand her. This was a disorienting time for all of us.
Weeks later, I was still looking to God to take my mother back to her orientation status where she could perform all of her activities of daily living independently and speak succinctly. I believed God would do this. I remember one Saturday, sitting in the room with my mother. (This was months after that August Sunday when we first got the news of her massive stroke.) I started praying and laying hands on her to get up and walk. I was praying that God would take her back to her orientation or really to my orientation of her life. My mother got really upset and started to cry. She pushed my hand away. I looked at her. I didn’t understand. Didn’t she want to get better? One of my sisters’ who was in the room asked her what was wrong. I asked her what was wrong. She was so upset, she couldn’t get the words out she wanted to use. Finally after some time, I asked her was it my prayer, she nodded her head yes.
During her time of unconsciousness, I believe my mom was praying for herself. Her favorite song is Mahalia Jackson’s, “I’ve Found the Answer, I’ve Learned to Pray.” I believe God was speaking and ministering not only to her body, but all of her infirmities including her mind, soul and spirit. During this time, I believe God had given her the new orientation stage that I didn’t want to accept. God saved my mom’s life. I didn’t want to accept that it was going to be different. I needed to accept that because she would be in a wheelchair, was partially paralyzed, and sometimes had difficulty making others understand her, that her life was not less just different. Years later, someone told me of a disabled person who said when he got to heaven, he didn’t want God to heal him of his disabilities because that would mean his life on earth meant nothing. My mom was still making her life worth something. She was still praising and serving God.
I had to learn that when we have gone through disorientation, we will never go back to the old orientation. My mom had learned it and on that Saturday, she taught me this lesson again. “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.”
 New Revised Standard Version, from biblegateway.com