Friday, September 27, 2013

Wide-Eyed Wonder in the End





Leaning over the bed, my hand on her quilt-covered knee, the tears came but the words wouldn't.

I've never not known what to pray before — not in 30 years of praying.

But I am stumped this time. There is life hanging in the balance and she is moving through the murky fluid of this life toward her heavenly eternity so quickly now. I know I'm letting her down in my speechless stupor, but I can't help it.

Do you pray for healing? Rest? Or that she would just stop breathing? Please, Lord, no more effort? This life has become such effort! Do I tell her goodbye? It doesn't feel right. Do you do that at a death bed?

So I don't say anything and feel inadequate.

I kneel down at the foot of the bed, my hand on Noemi's  bony knee and breathe. I breathe in the presence of the Lord. Because, no doubt about it,  He is here.

First sight of a newborn straight out of the womb is our closest glimpse of heaven. And I saw on the news this week that the newborn scent is addictive. The brain responds in the same places and the same ways it does when addicted to vices.

Could the longing for heaven be our vice?

Because I swear, when I had no words last night and could only get to my knees while my husband whispered Spanish into his mother's unconscious ears, I did what's taboo — I stared at her, speechless, wanting to memorize the holiness in the room.

Slipping into heaven is the same glimpse of our Maker and Home as sliding into this life.

It's intoxicating, not morbid, and I'm not letting her down. Rather, she is letting me in.

That's what I know to be true in my wide-eyed wonder.

“O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”
(1 Corinthians 15:55)

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