Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Stars, Angels, and a White Heron

September 22, 2008

I am a creature of habit. Even though no Hospice nurses will come today, here I sit in our bedroom, facing a wall without Megan and her bed. I look at the collection of art still hanging above where she rested. It is comforting to remember how she would seem to find courage in gazing at a cross or a verse or a poem. And now I, too, find strength in “He is making all things new”, “God cares for you”, “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all ways”, “A friend loveth at all times”, “Joy”, The Serenity Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer, “Everlasting”.
We are trying to pick up and resume life – gradually, carefully, quietly. On Wednesday after Megan’s service, Mike went to Florida on a business trip and I went to stay with Blair for a few days at Alabama. We returned and Saturday and standing at the coffee pot together, Dr. Feelgood said, “Would you like to go to the recycling center with me?” I knew then we would survive. After 37 years together, we can still enjoy a morning of recycling and lunch at the Varsity! On Sunday we returned to the peace and beauty of our sanctuary with our church family, and that afternoon Owen joined us to return to Settindown for a round of golf.
In spite of trying to move forward with a “new normal”, I know that we all feel paralyzed with sorrow and yes, even after this long illness, there is still a type of shock and disbelief that her physical presence is now actually gone from us. Oh, how we all loved her and miss her terribly. As Jean Valjean sang in Les Miserables, “To have loved is to see the face of God”.
And so God in His infinite mercy continues to show His face to us. One way is through creation, our spectacular earth and its abundance that surrounds us daily. Last Friday, we looked up at the beautiful pink sunset and there in perfect formation was a huge cloud in the shape of an angel dancing before our eyes. A friend wrote and said on the night of the 12th, the stars shown exceptionally bright over the French countryside. She found out later that Megan had died at 8:30 that night. And yesterday on the golf course, a white heron circled around us on number 11. All just gentle reminders that God is near to us, the broken-hearted, and offers comfort and love in rich supply when we seek Him.
I glance up at “Megan’s Wall” through my tears and notice one piece of art that she created. It is a painted wooden board – green with blue dots - with her artsy printing that says, “And this is love that we walk in obedience to His commands.” 2 John 1:6. And through my shuffling in her journal, an index card marked her book. On it, she had written from the Message in Romans 12:1-2, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: take your everyday ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going to work and walking around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing that you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit in without thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you and respond quickly to it.”
So it is almost 2 on Monday and I will take on “my everyday ordinary life” and once again enter my church sanctuary to celebrate the life of a former teacher of Megan’s whose life was also too brief. My role will be different today. I will offer comfort and support instead of receiving it. But somehow in the giving, I will receive.

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