As I walked the sky bridge this morning toward the shower, I looked out from the great height of the hospital, towering over the tops of trees, fresh and bright, late spring life. The sun had not yet risen over the hill but hit the high points to the west, tops of the far off trees and further, the twin points of The Brothers in the Olympic Mountains. The light was pale yellow and pink, fading blue of night to blue of day. The air was clear and it seemed you could swim out into its purity. I walked the path to Ron Don. The air was cool and alive with birdsong and the ferns were curled tight in their yet unfurled magical green. The light filtered through the trees and shown on the moss. There was dampness of morning in the air and I drank it in and I felt happy. I felt alive. I whistled back down the hall to the Unit and surprised myself with the thought – I am happy. I am fine. I am at rest. I am content. I am expectant. I am joyful. I am not afraid for Allistaire. Come life or come death I do not fear for my beautiful beloved. As I looked at her playing in the bathtub yesterday, content to pour water over her mermaid’s head with the little green Tupperware pitcher over and over, I wondered, was it for this you were created? Was it to bring us closer to the Lord, to enable us to see His face and have His peace settle deeper, deeper into our bones? Is that not an incredibly glorious purpose – for one’s life to be the dwelling place of the glory of God? She is innocent and has no dreams of her own. She is content. She is at rest and though her flesh may be destroyed, yet with her eyes she shall see God!
It feels a bit like betrayal to say these words; to allow in this peace. But I cannot help it – it is there. I feel more and more at rest with each passing day that this is where the Lord has me – He has me here to love these people in my life – to love every face that enters our room and each face in the hall and on the sidewalk. The season in which I dwell is in this place. Maybe it is the newness of resurrected life bursting forth all around me that reminds me to hope – all these silent plants and flowers and trees straining to the light, exploding with color and scent and shape and beauty. Even the dandelion with its perfect sphere of brilliantly designed seeds defying extinction, everywhere declaring His glory. I find myself almost giddy, if I dare to allow myself, with the awareness, that this time, this life, these realities are not happening in a void – they are part of a whole, a whole too vast for me to begin to take in. I am part of something momentous the Lord is creating. I am not a queen or king who has been entrusted with the well-being of a kingdom, but I do hold the weight of what sits in my hands, aware that I walk a path few must and are given to walk. Yes there is a way in which I despise this path, but more and more I find myself seeking to savor it – seeking to take it in, to soak it up, to fully experience it – to explore its views and sights and sensations. I do not want to lose it. If I am going to be here, I want to be fully here. I want to hear the voice of my Father and take in His instruction in these days. No, I don’t want to be here, but less and less do I balk at it.
I sit in the midst of this reality and I pull its truths to me, I gather round me all these treasures and take stock. I do not want to lose out on one jewel, one gift my Father has handed to me. For I know that one day this will be done. What “done” will look like I do not know. One year ago today Allistaire was discharged from the hospital for the last time, having completed her treatment for AML. All that was left was to have her Hickman Catheter removed. We had four perfect bone marrow tests to stand on. I could never have guessed what one year later would look like. I am thankful I could not have known. I do not know what May 2, 2014 will look like. What I do know is that no matter what, I pray I will be changed by this – forever changed. Oh, I know that I will be scarred and more broken and more tender. I will have aged and the wrinkles and gray wily hairs will be numerous. But I pray for softening, not hardening. I pray for light-heartedness alongside the soberness. I pray for a life more filled with grace and forgiveness and giving the benefit of the doubt. I pray for more thankfulness and less envy, less coveting. I pray for clearer vision of what matters and the ability to wait and to let go. I pray for deeper joy because my tap-root goes down, down into the heart of the living God. I pray for more boldness to speak what is true. I pray for that which I once scoffed – I pray for a “quiet and gentle spirit.” I pray for a tongue that is slow to speak in anger. I pray I am so much quicker to admit my wrong and ask forgiveness and quicker to forgive. I pray for less pettiness and for more, more delight. I pray for eyes that see the eternal and not only the temporal. I want to be changed by this. I want it to permanently mark me.