Looking out the window of our fourth floor hospital room, we first see the lovely view of a three-story high block wall. Yes. Actually, not so lovely at all. On the other side of that block wall is a four-story parking structure that is usually empty at night and full of employee cars during the day. If you look beyond that parking structure you can see the tops of trees, buildings, and street lights. And then finally, if you choose to look long enough and high enough, you can see some beautiful hills in the distance.

This view from our room reminded me of the verse in the Psalms that instructs us to lift up our eyes. To lift up our eyes and look to the Lord where our help comes from. It would be so easy to simply look at our block wall. It would be so tempting to focus on the ugly parking lot of cement and steel. Yet, it would be a tragedy to miss the view of the beautiful hills peeking out from behind the ugliness. You can even choose to look so intently at the hills that you forget the depressing sight of the block wall and the parking lot.

For us, living in this small hospital room in the middle of our current circumstances, that block wall is leukemia. It is chemotherapy. It is a stem cell transplant. It is odds and percentages and statistics. It is fear and pain and human limitations. And the parking lot? The parking lot is the perilous fight against side effects and rejection. The parking lot is the dark uncertainty of what life is going to bring in the days and weeks and months to come. The parking lot is the ongoing, and sometimes ugly, journey ahead.

What is the window you are looking out of? What is your block wall? What is your parking lot? Look at it. Acknowledge it, own it, name it. Look at it intently and seriously, and then look up. Look up! Look up to the Lord from where your help comes from! Look into his eyes and see his deep and very real love for you. Look at his nail-scarred hands and see the forgiveness, the freedom, and the incredible hope. Let hope come alive in your soul as you look up to your helper, your healer… the maker of heaven and earth!

Looking up to the hills, and looking up to our Lord of incredible mercy and hope and help today,

Carol Stoecklein