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