A liturgy for falling down the stairs

Note: We didn’t put it on social media, but Katie, my wife of 49 years, fell down our stairs last Saturday. Cerebral hemorrhaging. ICU. Lots of bruises. And pain.

Our friend Lily came to the hospital and read us a liturgy for the feeling of our infirmities from McKelvey’s Every Moment Holy. It’s filled with lovely prayers for everyday moments, like changing a diaper or morning coffee. But nothing for falling down the stairs, although the liturgy Lily read came close.

So, here is my prayer for someone I love falling down the stairs.

Precious Father, teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90).

These unexpected traumas remind us that our three score and ten is not promised, but each day with someone we love is a fragrant and precious perfume. It is difficult to imagine living without the one who fell. Yet in one blinding second, the potential for great grief is fully known.

So, Lord, turn to us and be gracious to us, as is your way with those who love your name. Keep steady our steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over us (Psalm 119:132–133).

We are grateful that He who keeps Israel will not let our foot be moved, neither will He slumber nor sleep (Psalm 121:3–4).

But if we do stumble, Lord, you are fully awake. And we are reminded immediately that other hands and voices do your work and lift us up.

Caregivers are ministers of your healing, children are testaments of your faithfulness, friends are bearers of your grace. We are surrounded by your servants, even your angels, and we are glad.

In the tedious and mundane tasks which now require so much effort, we are cared for by Your children and strengthened by Your Spirit. In all this we see reflections of your glory. Your loving kindness and mercy are everywhere around us.

For this, we thank you.

For every tiny gesture, we thank you.

For first responders and physicians, we thank you.

For CT scans and skilled nurses, we thank you.

For ambulances and walkers, we thank you.

For fruit baskets and flowers, we thank you.

For anxious messages and earnest prayers, we thank you.

For those who sit and watch and pray, we thank you.

For you are our God.

You will keep our going out and our coming in and our falling down, from this time forth and forevermore.

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil.

Let your work be shown to your servants,and your glorious power to their children (Psalm 90:14–16).

Note: Katie is home from the hospital, expecting a full recovery. These things take time. And by the grace of God, we have some.

4 thoughts on “A liturgy for falling down the stairs”

  1. Dr. Metts, I’m so sorry about Katie’s serious fall . . . and grateful that she’s home now with expectations for a full recovery. My  husband & I will offer up Texas-size prayers for you both. I hope that writing your beautiful liturgy has been balm to your  heart. It has already touched me deeply. . . I relate to “Yet in one blinding second, the potential for great grief is fully known.”  That was my thinking 2 years ago during my 75-year-old husband’s emergency return to the hospital due to severe  complications after back surgery. God mercifully restored Bob 4 scary months later. . . truly a test of faith while facing the  reality of potential widowhood. Yes, every moment we have together is all the more precious.

    Linda Libert

  2. I am so sorry. Praying for full and timely restoration to the will of heaven, Katie Metts. David and Linnet Stevens

  3. Prayers for you both —for healing and strength, for rest and provision. Praise to the One Who loves you both and continues to hold your hands …together.

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