Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Dance

Maybe two weeks.  Maybe less.  That's what the doctors say anyway.


I suppose God could change it all if He wanted- in some divine act of mysterious providence offering her a brief reprieve from the certain destiny we all share.  Even so, that seems very unlikely now.

My grandmother is dying. But, then again, I guess we all are.


She lies in an Alabama hospital with those she has loved for years gathered around her bed. They stroke her head and hands and whisper quiet prayers for a graceful retreat into that good night.  Her nearly lifeless body is pale and gaunt, withered to something so different from more youthful days.  Old and worn from hard years of living, she has almost finished the race.  Soon she will breathe her last and fade to other dimensions unknown. 


For now, they try to recall better times...times of fried chicken sitting on the stove, the taste of  sweet banana pudding melting in their mouth, the feel of crisp, starched bed sheets against sleepy skin, the pantry full of produce put up from the summer garden, and a freezer full of catfish from the pond out back. 


They will try to remember when they were a different family...when some things seemed so much more certain.


But, no matter how hard they try, other more troubling thoughts will creep in from their usually quiet places. 


I suppose it's an epitome of life.  For countless days our own mortality seems vaguely familiar-a stranger mostly.  But, occasionally along the way, certain events beckon that stranger across the threshold and into the light for a more intimate glimpse. 


That stranger is there among them...here with me too. His lesson is clear:  for everything there is a season and sooner or later all will acquaint themselves with her more imminent fate.


The real truth, however, is nothing in this life stays the same save one thing and one alone.  A Greater Gardner planted this magnificent field.  And, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  The faithful are promised nothing more than a place with Him at a great banqueting table.


She knows Him well and He knows her even better.  He loved her before she was even born. And a day is soon coming when this new bride in her new body will meet this Christ face to face.  She will sit at that wondrous wedding feast united with the one who knit her together and breathed life into her lungs so many years ago.  They will walk and talk, her hand in His somewhere in that great beyond. He will lean close and wipe the tears forever from her eyes as He gently kisses her waiting cheek.


And then, in robes of flawless white amidst streets of brilliant gold, they will warmly embrace, as together


at last-


they dance...
image courtesy of photobucket.com

22 comments:

Anne Lang Bundy said...

I suppose I'm not quite right in the head, but even when someone speaks of a Christian's death with less eloquence and love and beauty than you have—even when death is seen as the enemy—I cannot help but feel a little jealous.

Precious in the sight of the LORD
Is the death of His saints.
Psalm 116:15

What Were About said...

Jeff, this is simply put AMAZING! Heaven will be gaining one of the most beautiful angels ever.

S. Etole said...

now my heart yearns ...

this is beautiful, Jeff ... beautiful

M.L. Gallagher said...

A beautiful tribute to a woman who I would love to have met.

Blessings to you Jeff.

I'm sorry to see you here with such sad news -- grateful you found the words to write down such beauty.

Sandra Heska King said...

Oh, such beauty in your words. What memories. Praying--and dancing.

Laura said...

Sharing in that joyful knowledge that the dance will be a good one. But still...knowing it's hardest on those left behind. Thinking of you and your family during this time, Jeff.

David Rupert said...

A wonderful post. I lost my dad in a similiar journey this year and it was really a holy thing in the end.

I wrote about it here if it might give comfort

Ann Kroeker said...

This is so hard...and so beautiful.

Now you have me missing my grandmother, but you give me some beautiful images to ponder. She used to say that even though she was locked up in the body of an old woman, inside she still felt like the 18-year-old girl she once was.

I only knew her with wrinkles, though I have a couple of photos of her young and smooth-skinned.

I like imagining that 18-year-old girl.

Dancing.

caryjo said...

You may not post frequently, but when you do, it always grabs my heart. Got me again, friend.

Jeff Jordan said...

Thank you all, friends! My grandmother passed peacefully this afternoon. I'll be leaving VA tomorrow and the funeral will be on Friday in Winfield, Alabama. Again, thank you...really, thank you!

Cheryl Smith said...

What a perfect photo selection for a tender post.

Dianne West said...

Your beautiful words bring a wonderful peace to my soul this morning as I grieve the loss of my dear husband. Thank you.

Duane Scott said...

This is one of my all-time favorites I've read of yours. Just wonderful...

I'm linking up.

Jeff Jordan said...

Thanks for stopping by...for your kind words too.

A Simple Country Girl said...

Ah, Mister Jeff, I am sorry I missed this earlier. My prayers will be with your grieving family.

Your words, especially those describing "better times" pull me into your grandma's life. What a treasure.

May God comfort and soothe any aches as you all draw even closer to Him and His promises.

Blessings.

deodate said...

This brought tears to my eyes. The Journey Home - so bittersweet. What would we do without our faith, without the confidence in knowing that the music will play and the dancing will begin. My prayers are with you.
Andie

Jeff Jordan said...

thank you, Andie.

Karen said...

I have thought, as I watched my loved ones slip away, that it is something like a birth - only better. Still, we grieve the temporary separation. God bless you. (Thank you for the song: Oh How He Loves Us")

Anonymous said...

It was really inspiring I loved it, thanks a ton to bring me back and more closer to my real self and my family.

Deidra said...

Jeff-

This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us. I think it must be a treasure - to have such hope in death.

Anonymous said...

The stories are like reflections of what I am going through in my life…and these did make me realize my mistakes and what steps do I need to take….

A Simple Country Girl said...

Jeff,
Hoping everything is okay with you and yours...

Missing your insight and influence out here in cyberland.

Blessings (to you and your family).