Walking past the dining room window, picking up the dinner plates and attending to the voices in the other room, Misty glanced behind her to see a hummingbird perched on the shepherd’s hook. The sky was dark. A storm was fast approaching and she began to wonder why the bird was patiently settled for what seemed to be a wicked downpour.
Pulling back the sheers, slowly as to not startle the bird, Misty’s eyes focused. The bird sat for what seemed minutes. The drops began to fall. “What possibly could that bird be thinking?”. Thoughts ran through her head but nothing seemed to make sense.
Several months earlier, Misty had finished the project to find people in the community to create a backyard garden for butterflies and birds. She took the job with the hopes of enjoying her work more than she ever had before, but she was not ready for the challenge God would place in her hands. The CEO was dying of cancer. Misty didn’t know this initially, so it certainly came as huge surprise one Tuesday morning.
Jacie walked past her desk with a limp. It was a limp that couldn’t be ignored, so Misty turned in her chair and inquired “Feeling ok?”
“Oh, this leg. I’ve been struggling for some time. “ she responded, giving Misty the idea that she didn’t want to explore the question any longer. When her boss had left for the day, she turned to Jacie’s admin assistant and continued her earlier discussion about Jacie’s leg.
“You don’t know?” Amber continued to type up her memo. It was 4:45 and she needed to pick up her granddaughter from preschool by 5:00. She really didn’t have time to talk, but could see Misty needed to know the whole story or it would probably bother the poor lady until tomorrow. She clicked send, continued to shut down her computer, and began to grab her coat.
“Jacie has breast cancer. As long as I’ve known her, which has been as long as I’ve worked here, she has been in and out of chemotherapy. That would be five years now.” She put the scarf around her face, the wind was blowing up the freshly fallen snow outside. “I just can’t believe that Jacie didn’t explain her situation to you. The cancer has rapidly spread these past few months and the doctors are not very encouraged. It may be months you know.”
“I’m sorry. I’ll be here tomorrow. Maybe we could talk more?” Misty drew quiet. She watched as Amber scraped her car windows and waited for the windows to defrost before pulling out into the heavy traffic.
The music blared in Misty’s car. Misty was alone with God so she could decide the station. “Life is Hard” was playing and Misty turned it up a notch. As she listened she felt God nudge her to share the song, and her faith, with Jacie, even though she had only been at The Wild Federation for two months. She let the scenario play around in her head until she reached the office.
Amber and Jacie had already arrived. Misty rearranged her desk and got a cup of coffee. She stood in the doorway and saw that Jacie had her head down on her desk. She could feel the nudge of the Lord in her heart as she quietly took up the seat in front Jacie.
“I know what’s wrong. Can we talk?” Misty reached out her hands.
“Carl. I think something is wrong with Jacie. I need to call hospice and find out.” Misty found her cell phone in her purse and listened as it rang. Finally the front desk picked up.
“St. Anne’s Hospice. “ the receptionist sounded young.
“Yes. I would like to talk with Jacie, Room 18 please.”
“Oh, I guess you haven’t heard. She is not taking visitors. She is expected to go any day now. Her husband and son are in the room with her and they haven’t left since Tuesday. She has only opened her eyes once or twice in the past week.” Silence fell like fresh snow, only it was raining so hard that Misty began to think of that poor hummingbird in the rain storm.
“Thanks.” The click was deafening and when she went to see if the bird was still there, she saw it had fallen off its perch and lay drenched under the butterfly bush. Jacie had lived a long life. She was in God’s arms now.
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