What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Journey of Opposites

Light and Darkness
Life and Death
Fear and Courage

Seeming opposites...and yet they all go together.
Without the darkness would we ever understand the light?
Without life, there would be no death.
Without fear, would we ever need to have courage?

Last week my son, who has terminal cancer, was admitted to a Hospice House in a community near his home. (1500 miles away from my home). Obviously, this is a step that brings every parent to their knees.  No one wants to see their loved one, whether it be a child, adult, spouse, sibling, anyone come to that point in life where it has become necessary to admit they are nearing the threshold of heaven.

John 1:5 tells us that "And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."  I John 1: 5-7

This week I am being immersed in the Light of God.  His testimony of life and light is all around me. It is an unusual tale...but not when you know the God of Light.

The reflection shown above appeared on my wall last week, a couple of days after Matthew was admitted to Hospice House.  I walked into my kitchen and noticed the light reflecting behind the blue vase, and then my eyes were directed to the wall just to the right of the vase, and the reflection I discovered there was shimmering and vibrating with dazzling brilliant light. I was so amazed by this phenomenon that I immediately ran to find my camera, hoping that it would remain until I could capture it. I later posted these pictures on my Facebook page, and I said "I wish I had taken time to dust this vase before I photographed it, but then the reflection would have been gone."  I meant that by the time I dusted it the moment would have passed and we would have missed it.  One of my friends commented, "Without the dust the reflection would have been gone...interesting..."   And that got me to thinking a little more deeply about this whole reflection of light event.


Strangely enough, this reflection continued to dance before our eyes for several minutes, during which time I received a phone call from a lady at the Hospice house, who happened to be sitting with Matthew for the evening to give my daughter in law a break.  She said she was calling to let me know that Matthew was sleeping peacefully and comfortably and that he was being well cared for.  I was surprised by her call, and particularly at that moment in time, but it gave me great comfort.  And then the light began to fade away and the vase once again sat in somewhat obscurity on my little shelf in the kitchen.

Several of my Facebook friends had interesting, deep comments about this Light Reflection.  A couple thought for sure they could see an angel in the light...

and another said:
"Maybe his spirit was visiting you at the time. . I have had this happen to me several times with close friends and family members who were in the state that Matt it is. Beautiful experience and a look into the mysterious ways of the spirit.  A gift that is for sure."       
Certainly some food for thought...

A few days later my husband and I boarded a plane to head north to be with our son, most likely for the very last time here on earth.  As we walked down the crowded aisle of the airplane to claim our seats, I noticed right away that the seat next to mine was already filled with a young woman holding a very young baby in her arms.  My first thought was, "Oh great!  We get to listen to a crying baby all the way to Maine." Not a very pleasant thought in my current state of mind. After all, we were heading into very turbulent seas, and we needed all the calming we could get.  So I settled down in my seat and made pleasant small talk with the young woman, asking about her baby's age, name, you know, all the usual questions one would ask about a new baby.  And she was very sweet and I could see that she truly loved her little baby boy and she was excited to be taking this trip to visit her parents and extended family who would be meeting her child for the first time.  Little by little I warmed up to this precious infant as he looked in my direction and began to smile and coo and respond to my funny faces and goo goo-ing at him. Every time he would start to fuss, all I had to do was look at him and smile, and he would stop fussing and smile back at me.

As the plane began its descent, the flight attendant came by and asked the young woman next to me if she had fastened her seatbelt.  Obviously, with her hands full of a very young baby she could not easily hold him and fasten her seatbelt at the same time.  So I asked her if she would like for me to hold her baby so she could take care of the belt, and by this time she felt she could trust me to hold her precious cargo, and so she placed that sweet bundle in my arms and I just melted.

Here I was, headed for my precious son's death, and God arranged it so that I could hold a new life in my arms, even if only for a few minutes.  

Kindly, the young mother allowed me the privilege of holding her warm cuddly baby all the way until we were firmly landed and stopped on the ground. I cannot begin to express to you how therapeutic and marvelous those moments were to my sad, sore heart.  It was a joy deep within my soul that I could not contain.

A little while later we arrived at the hospice house to visit our son.  As I walked into his room, he immediately looked at us and said, "Daddy, Mommy!"  Our son is 41 years old, married and has a son of his own, but these childhood terms of endearment reached into our hearts and overwhelmed us with love and relief.  Relief that he was still alive...and that he still knew who we were.  He has been in a very agitated stated of confusion, due to strong pain medications and the progression of the disease that is ravaging his body, so we really didn't know what to expect.

Then my husband directed my attention to look out of the window. and this is what we saw:
And as it twisted and turned in the wind, we both gasped...as the shimmering undulating motion of this magnificent wind "whirligig" so strongly resembled the image of the dazzling light reflection seen on the wall of our kitchen on that day not long before...THIS is the image our son can view directly outside of his window as he lays in his bed....certainly some more food for thought of the ways of the spirit...

Finally I come to the last part of this trilogy of words...Fear and Courage...

Yesterday afternoon the Chaplain stopped by to visit, and as she was preparing to go she asked Matthew if there were any words that he would like her to pray for him. The words that came clearly and strongly from Matthew's lips were, "Fear and Courage."  I thought this was pretty amazing, as the only words he had spoken over the past several days were nonsensical...phrases that made no sense to any of us...distorted thoughts and collections of words that we could not identify as having any particular meaning.  


"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

This morning my husband was quoting a most familiar scripture that sums up all of the above for us:

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want..
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters 

He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness 
for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
Psalm 23

I think that is all I need to say.
Make your own conclusions about the messages that God is giving me...and you...through
these thoughts today.

Thank you for your continued prayers for my precious son as he continues in this fight between
Darkness and Light
Life and Death
Fear and Courage.

It is obvious to me that we are not alone on this journey.


Outdoor pictures are from the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House of Southern Maine.

11 comments:

  1. My heart both cries and sings....praying for you. Connie

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    1. Thank you. Yeah, I get that. Crying and singing. I'm somewhere in between there most of the time these days. Thank you for your prayers and love.

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  2. There are no words. Tears and prayers.
    Carolyn

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    1. Thank you Carolyn. Every day is a new phase of this journey. So thankful we are never alone on this path. Your prayers are a comfort to us.

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  3. Oh Pam...what a heart felt post...spoken with such love and confidence in the One Who is giving your family strength at this time! Thank you for sharing...for taking the time out of this part of your journey to share your heart...to share how He is caring for you. Love you.

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    1. I feel God's presence so keenly these days. I know He is carrying us every step of the way. I am SO thankful for that knowledge and comfort. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

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  4. My dear sister, my heart is heavy just thinking about what you are going through. I can only imagine---
    But above all, I know without a doubt that God is right there holding you and John in His mighty arms, as He also holds Matthew close. Right now I can envision Mom's and Dad's spirits watching and caring from their heavenly home. Prayers , prayers and more prayers are going up for all of you from so many in so many places. His presence is there!

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    1. Thank you Doris. Yes, I feel very close to Mom and Dad at this time, because I know they must be watching and preparing to meet Matthew when he comes through the gate. Many others will be there too, but most of all JESUS will be there with arms wide open. We are hanging in there, but every day is a new challenge. God is with us, I have no doubt. Love you Sis.

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  5. Got inspired in reading the post. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. My respect and admiration for you is once again magnified by these beautiful faith-filled words Pam. Every little sign from God is important in this difficult journey. I pray that you continue to see God all around in the coming days. Praying for you always. Susie

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    1. Thank you Susie. I do see God in so many ways each moment of every day that we are here with our son. I feel His presence with us in our times of sorrow, joy and peace. I know He will be with us in the days to come as well, and that our son will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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