It was 465 B.C.E., Cyrus the Great’s liberation of the Jews after two hundred years of captivity in Babylonia. No longer would they suffer beneath the heel of their captors. No longer would they doubt God’s saving presence in their midst. Once home in Jerusalem, they would rebuild their Temple with the help of funds and goods given by that Persian king.

This event drew the prophecy of Second Isaiah: Listen to me, House of Jacob,… you who have been carried since birth, whom I have carried since the time you were born. In your old age I shall be the same, when your hair is gray, I shall still support you…I will deliver you. (Isaiah 46:3-4)

Such words must have inspired the newly freed to recommit to their covenanted life with God. Their sloth in observing the Law had made them easy prey to the Babylonians, two hundred years before. I imagine the Jews rubbing their eyes in wonder as they began their trek home, their sacred scrolls strapped to the backs of donkeys. Indeed, the Jews still enjoyed God’s unconditional love and protection and they knew it.

My present circumstances mirror those of the Jews in captivity: diminishments in energy, in focus, in movement; temptation to despair; wimpy faith; stark loneliness; uprootedness from my identity; inability to grieve; flatness of affect; interminable dark nights; terror of the unknown.

But like the Jews, there are interludes of grace: CPA phone meetings, daily contacts with my CPA sponsor, Dr. Singh’s Grace in Dying, February’s mildness, the southern magnolia flourishing in my back yard, daily blogging, the still small voice within my psyche, my sister’s nightly phone calls, meditation, and nutritious food.

Mercifully, I live one day at time while awaiting my deliverance—I, too, will return home.