Skip to comments.A Dali Painting in 3-D (after-action report from the hospice where Terri Schiavo is being held
Posted on 03/28/2005 9:05:11 AM PST by woollyone
On Wednesday of last week, my friend and I just couldnt stand it any more. The frustration, the anger, the sorrow overwhelmed us to point that we needed to do something. We had called the POTUS, the Governor, the Florida Senators and DCF numerous times. The responses to those calls ranged from were doing everything we can. to interrupting our message with a rude, disinterested thank you for calling. There was no place we would rather be on Good Friday that supporting Terris fight and Terris family.
We took Friday off of work, loaded up the truck Thursday night and drove from Broward County up to Pinellas Park. We arrived at the hospice very early Friday morning- at about 2 AM. The air was thick with fog. There was a light misting drizzle and there was lightning flashing across the sky, with a delayed rumbling of thunder, as a storm seemed to be approaching. It light of the events unfolding, the fog, darkness, and lightning and thunder seemed appropriate for the horror that is unfolding for Terri and her family.
Before getting out of the truck, we pulled alongside a man who, along with others, was leaving the hospice area. We asked him the current status of Terri, which he didnt know. He noticed that we had brought my dog and immediately warned me that the police had threatened others with dogs that if their dog barks that the police would take it away. I brought the dog because I did not have anyone to care for her on short notice while I was gone (As it turned out, bringing the dog was a blessing to others). The gentleman also warned us that the situation had gotten rather tense earlier in the night, as the pro-death crowd had come and were harassing Terris supporters. Further, he related that a major thunderstorm was predicted to converge on the area within the next hour, with hail, lightning and up to 60 mph winds. He warned us to be careful as he walked away with a wish for Gods blessing on us.
We left the dog in the truck, as we decided to survey the situation before setting up chairs and such. Upon arriving in front of the hospice we noticed how quiet it was. There were only a dozen or so supporters milling about. Scattered on the ground, sleeping in the fog and drizzle were a handful of the weary. I have to give credit to those faithful for their endurance.
My friend (Ill call her M) and I decided that it would be best to find a hotel room, get a few hours of sleep and avoid the storm. The storm never came. We got a room, three hours sleep and at 7 AM on Friday, returned to the hospice.
It was Gods Friday. We brought a 10 banner that a sign company made up for us, 240 cups, 240 candles, grape juice, unleavened water crackers. As we would be missing the Easter worship service, we hoped that we could at least partake in Holy Communion there in front of the hospice and maybe provide that opportunity to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
As the rising sun burned the morning fog away, the temperature rose, along with the number of people who were arriving. There were people from everywhere! They came from Washington State, as well as Washington DC they came from California, Arizona, Indiana, Texas, Illinois, the New England states.
The hospice is located on the South side of an East-West street. The media tents are located across the street on the North side. The protest area was a fenced off area on the South side, between the sidewalk and the street. It looked like a cattle run. The sidewalk was accessible, provided that you keep moving, as the police so often declared. If you stepped on the grass south of the sidewalk, you were told to please move onto the sidewalk and that you were trespassing. Speaking of the police, I have to say that their emotions were mixed and they were polite overall. Certainly the obstinate protesters received harsher rhetoric from the police, but I believe that most of the officers were empathetic to the situation. I think the weirdness and the threats of violence had them on edge. All this is not to overlook those officers who just had to play tough-guy, Im-the-law-and-youre-scum attitude, but there very few of them (in my observation).
Walking around to observe the scene, as the crowd swelled, there were many things that just assaulted my heart and mind. The first thing to note is the tremendous amount of prayer that was continuous. There were many tears spilling on the ground and many grass-stained knees. There were open Bibles everywhere and Gods Word was being read silently with weeping, declared aloud with a call for holiness and repentance, and shouted with righteous indignation. There were prayer warriors on their faces in the grass a block away in their prayer closets as an attempt to get away from the disruptors, the foolish ones and the cameras. There were prayers circles where believers from varying denominations were agreeing in unity, as they appealed for Gods mercy, peace, comfort and resolution/intercession. There were small circles of believers taking turns reading the Psalms aloud and reading the promises of Jesus aloud. The small circles of believers would go from weeping to bold prayer, then to reading, then to singing, then to reassuring conversation, and back to prayer. These scenes were the most prominent activity in all of the people.
Periodically, an annoying fool would come up to us to converse in silliness, or we just needed to stretch our legs so would we walk through the people. God was there. His presence filled the air. There was peace that was only explained by His presence. Walking, the prayers of His children were rising, the tears were falling and His praises were being sung. Our hearts were moved to return to prayer. I imagine that it would be difficult for anyone there to not have wept. There were even tears in the eyes of some of the media.
There were a few pastors and priests present. An announcement went out that two services would be conducted- one for Protestants and one for Catholics. Each service was held away form the media area in an effort to keep it holy and to avoid the distractions that the cameras would have on the hearts that truly wished to worship on Good Friday. Needless to say, the cameras came running to zoom in anyway. They were admonished to not be intrusive during the service, but were not very accommodating. The bread and wine were distributed. God was honored and hearts were moved to repentance, humility and thankfulness to Him. Afterwards, M told me that during the entire service, a Monarch butterfly had landed on the barricade right behind the pastor. During the entire service, the butterfly remained. At the final Amen, the butterfly flew away.
Later, in another separate area, there was a Catholic Mass along with the Stations of the Cross. The Catholic Mass was conducted a number of times during the three days we were there. The Rosary was prayed non-stop. When one group would conclude, another would begin. The Rosary was prayed while kneeling, and standing in groups, and walking. Though I am not a Catholic, and dont agree with some Catholic doctrine and methodology, I have to say that these brothers and sisters of ours prayed without ceasing, from the depths of their hearts.
Each day, there were people arrested for trespassing. Essentially, this was very organized. There would be a meeting to all who desired to cross the line and offer Terri water. The process of arrest was explained, including the location of the jail, the amount of bail, the method of booking and transportation was provided as necessary to bail out those who would be arrested. It was clearly stated that nobody should be compelled to cross the line, but that each had to make the decision that was upon his or her heart.
The most heart-wrenching and inspiring story is that of Joshua. Joshua is ten years old. The meaning of his name is Jehovah God Saves and the Hebrew name of our Lord. Joshua is from Virginia (IIRC). He begged his dad to come to Florida to support and pray for Terri. It was his idea. His dad Scott, with his moms permission, headed off to Pinellas Park. Talking with Joshua, he said that he wanted to come down here because Jesus would want Terri to have him pray for her and her family. When in front of the hospice, he told his dad that he wanted to give Terri some water because Jesus would want to give Terri water. He knew that his son would be arrested, and asked for support, which he immediately received from his wife and the body of Christ. Joshua crossed the line. He took a stand for what His Lord convicted his ten-year-old heart to do. This Joshua is a mighty man of God and He has a certain plan for his life. He did what many were not willing to do. May this boy be immensely blessed!
Terris family came and went throughout the time we were there. As the days passed, the weariness upon them was increasingly evident. In the entire time that we were there, MS was not to be seen. A few said that he was constantly inside, while others stated that he hadnt shown up at all. I dont know what the real story is.
Saturday morning began with coffee at the hotel and some quiet time before heading to the hospice. For me, reading included Proverbs chapter 26. It is a strong caution regarding fools. In Proverbs, the term fool is related to the un-godly. One verse states; Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him. I had serious reservations about returning to the hospice, as I was concerned over the foolish that were parading about and expressed this to M. We had seen some pretty weird stuff. There people who would go out into the street to get on their knees in front of the CNN cameras. There was the guy with the mega-phone who declared that everyone was not in the real faith, except him. There was the guy declaring the King James Only mantra. There was the woman screaming profanity like a person suffering from turrets syndrome. There was the guy carrying a skeleton and the guy dressed up as Solomon and the guy carrying a bloodied baby-doll with a bloody sword through its skull. There was the goofy woman who carried what appeared to be a plastic bowl with potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil with a sign on the front that said; 30 pieces of silver, who would seek out every opportunity to get interviewed and say something senseless. Then there were the rent-a-mob goofballs. Most had departed the night before we arrived, but a few lingered, with shouts that must have certainly caused deep wounds to the Schindler family should they have heard their insults. A Messianic Jewish woman (God bless her heart!) arrived on Sunday. She had brought t-shirts and pins to distribute. One woman kept coming over to her to mooch more stuff. It was almost as if she saw these gifts as some sort of Disney World Souvenirs. By the time she was done loudly complaining about this and that type or size t-shirt, that this pin wouldnt be good for her husband do you have one more suitable for him and do you have any of this or that, she had absconded at least three or four of each item that our sister had brought. We finally got tired of her mooching and complaining as M tried to read the Psalms through the resounding nonsense that I had to ask her to leave.
God had blessed us with Proverbs 26 that morning and we avoided the fools at every opportunity. Sometimes we would be sitting and reading and someone would come up to begin foolish talk, bantering accusations, whining complaint, overbearing lecturing, or simply weird Christianity. One woman began with the comment that; You know that they are poisoning us right!?! I asked what in the world she was talking about, to which she pointed toward the sky and declared; They are spraying chemicals on us dont you see the chem-trails?!? It was times like this when M would quickly get up and walk away.
This whole thing seemed surreal. Here was an innocent woman being killed by her husband through starvation and dehydration. Here family pleads for mercy. The husband (INO) insists, along with the Judge that the woman must die. And for what? I dont need to go into the facts here, as nearly everyone has read them over and over again. This is sick. A horror. A tragedy for Terris family. It has been said that none are so blind as those who will not see. The intentional blindness is unbelievable. The weirdness is astounding. The steadfastness of God is obvious. On Saturday afternoon, I turned to M and said that this whole thing is as a Salvador Dali painting elements of reality twisted and distorted to make no sense, leaving the observer with a wrinkled brow and a puzzled look and asking what sense there is in all of this. Later, as we walked to get some water, we walked past a man who was on the phone describing the scene. He said to his friend; Dude this is like a Salvador Dali painting.
It was our intent to return home after seeing the disruptive nonsense escalate. The media is completely out of touch with reality (so whats new huh!?!). The foolishness was building. We went to eat and after a large meal decide to stay the night rather than drive while being so exhausted. The next morning, we both agreed that we couldnt go home without returning to quickly pray at the hospice. We ended up staying all day again. Again, much prayer for Terri, the Schindlers and our government leaders, and for MS.
In the end, the question remains what is being accomplished there? Well, Terri is still starving to death and dying of thirst. Her parents hearts are still broken. The Judicial system is still a tyranny that is behaving outside of its Constitutional guidelines. The legislature and the executives have been neutered. The estranged husband and his minions still march toward the desire of killing an innocent Terri. The media is still operating on an elitist agenda.
But God is being glorified...even in this tragedy.
Throughout the time we were there, the Schindler family would periodically walk through the supports and state their sincere thanks for the support they were receiving and how much they appreciated our prayers. They attended the prayer vigils and communion. Mr. Schindler in particular seemed as though he gained strength by walking among the throng of believers. It was easily seen that this mans heart is broken, but that prayers were supporting him and that he was truly thankful.
We drove home last night in silence. Just as on the drive to the hospice, the smell of orange blossoms filled the truck with their sweet aroma. It was almost as if this were a confirmation that going to support Terri, support her family and to pray were the right thing to do. Life is in slow motion. It is as though I am still in that distorted Dali paining. M read from Gods Word. We prayed and cried. We gave thanks. Finally we did turn on the radio. We heard we are standing on holy ground and Im sure that there are angels all around A hospice isnt holy ground by itself, nor is a paved street, or a grassy patch of grass, or even the cab of a pick-up truck. But what makes the ground holy is ground where the Lord is present. And there were angles present. God is right there with Terri right there with her family. From the beginning of time He knew of these days and tragedies and He is working a plan to His glory in every moment.
God is in this. America is waking up to what she has become. The body of Christ is praying.
God's glory is being declared.
God bless Terri and her family.
Thank you for your beautiful report about your experiene at the vigil. I'm sorry we didn't meet. I spent Good Friday at hospice.
what were your thoughts or oservations while there?
beautiful -thank you for sharing.
Thank you for sharing your experiences, wish I could have been there. Prayers have been going out.
"Each service was held away form the media area in an effort to keep it holy..."
I like that little gem. (Although I'm sure you didn't mean it to sound the way I took it. :)
Thanks for this account.
Prayers going up continually from here as well.
Deliver her safely, Lord - if not from the death sentence, then take her victoriously home to your Loving Arms.
Thanks, Terri, for the example of perseverance in the midst of suffering.
Jesus admonished us not pray as the hypocrites "...to be seen by men...". Absolutely no high-browed pius intent in anything I have said. The media was sticking cameras evrywhere a camera could fit. It was all too common that in the midst of a prayer to feel a bump, only to open your eyes and find a camera lens inches away. During the communion service, one cameraman knelt down nearly between my friend's legs to get a close-up shot of her women's devotional Bible cover...I mean inches away! To them, it was all about their story. To the believers it was a desire to get away from the their mockery and the distractions that the camera lenses and microphones caused. It was about "be ye separate".
Thanks for your understanding through and despite my poor writing style.
woollyone, thank you from my heart for your beautiful witness and testimony. You bring tears to my eyes. Immanuel!!! "God is with us."
Thank you for the beautiful first-hand account.
Oh, no, I wasn't critcizing your writing style or anything else. I just liked the way you turned that phrase, however inadvertantly.
Outstanding! Thank you.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU FOR ALL YOU DONE REGARDING TERRI.
Your words really reached out to all of us.
He is indeed....Thank you for this report. Thank you for going!!!
Scott... Scott... Hmmm... something about that name reminds me of something... Hmmm... let me think...
By the way, this IS a great report, and I'm glad you were there, but I see no mention of our fellow conservatives taunting the police by goosestepping and using nazi salutes...
Any comments? :)
Heavenly Father, we return to thank You that this mother's child has been surrounded by the Body of Christ in her terrible ordeal. We thank You, O God, that You have given unto her Ministering Angels, both inside and outside the place of her torment. May the prayers and the praises of Your children continue to delight the heart and the ears of this wounded woman ... may the earthly sounds become the Heavenly sounds as her time draws near. Let Terri's heart be filled with the love of her family and the love of untold multitudes as she looks upon You, the Author and Finisher of her faith. To God be the glory, great things He has done in the life of this wounded lamb. In the Name of Jesus, we praise You, Amen ...
dear woollyone, thank you for being there -- i'll post more later, have just read 1/2 through your excellent detailed post. But in reading about Joshua, I just had to stop to ping my friends Shezza and tutstar to this thread...
btw, I was there late Fri night to Sat am, had a hard time putting the experience into words -- you have done very well indeed, and my experience to this halfway point is as you say.
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