It seems that all the earth is waiting. Spring has been slow in coming, the warming breath of a stronger sun somehow delayed. Ice still skims the pond across from our home. The geese seem puzzled, flying low but not touching down. Each day we hope for warmer temperatures, each day there is disappointment.
But the clouds are looking more like the burgeoning mounds heavy with rain and here and there a sprout of green tells us the season is unfolding. Soon it will break forth, resplendent in green. Soon spring will be a reality, not just a promise.
Last Monday, lying on the cruciform table in a hospital's operating room, I prayed and wondered about waking up face to face with my creator. I thought about all the promises He has made to us about eternity, the possibility of living always in His presence. On that day, the possibility had never before been so real.
"There are always risks with surgery," my doctor had said. As the anaesthesiologist approached I stared at the sets of gleaming lights and gave myself, once again, into the hands of Jesus.
I woke a few hours later on a respirator in the ICU, my hands tied down so I wouldn't attempt to yank the tubes from my throat. Anaphylactic shock required intubation. One of the risks - being allergic to the radioactive blue dye they inject to find the sentinel node in the armpit, which they test to determine if the cancer has spread.
I was thankful for a medical team that was quick to respond; thankful that I woke; thankful to see my husband standing beside my bed; thankful the sentinel node is not cancerous. And then all the "what ifs" began to flow through my mind ... what if the intubation wasn't done quickly enough? What if I had died there in that sterile OR? I believe I would have been instantly standing face to face with Jesus, so the what ifs were not so much disturbing as intriguing. Like the reality of the signs of spring, I know what's to come. Someday.
But the time has been delayed. I still stand on the seemingly firm soil of this earth. God has plans for me still, it would seem. So I look to the future, look to His hand to guide, His Spirit to move, His peace to engulf me as it has continually since hearing the fear-ridden word, cancer. I look and see the new sprouts of green that tell me the promises are real. Life in His presence is possible, now, and someday ... then, when all the possibilities become reality.