Out of the Darkness!
Her name was Rosie and on their wedding day, twenty-five years ago, she had made his heart thump in his chest. She was like an explosion of energy, shafts of sunlight bursting through early morning mists on a summerís day.
John lingered for one last look before leaving her grave. He hadnít known what to expect. Would he Ďfeelí her presence? He could not feel it in their home. He had expected some intangible presence to have pervaded every corner, but only the tangible things of her remained; her perfume on the dresser in their bedroom. He had sprayed her perfume, fragrance filling the room; but it wasnít her fragrance! It needed to be on her skin to be Ďherí fragrance.
Without realising he had left her, he found himself back home. He wanted to call out, ďIím home!Ē Just to hear her voice in response. In the kitchen the oven was cold, no welcoming aroma, no table laid for two, no flowers from their garden that had been a Ďstage for the seasonsí, an orchestra of colour, tulips marching like a brass band along the borders, lilies dancing exotically in the breeze, roses reclining gracefully, silky petals opening in sequence. He flicked on her I-pod, surprised to find that Christian music íhad a beatí. She had loved the thump of a drum! A smile sneaked across his face at the memory.
A gentle voice began to sing a song he couldnít recall.
ĎAnd in the end Iím going home, Iíll go to glory on Heavenís shoreí.
His heart thumped hard against his rib cage as he listened. The patio doors were open and the scent of roses filtered in.
ĎJohn Jensoní he thought, Ďyou listened to her but you never heard what she was saying.. He was surprised at how the roses reminded him of her as his eyes focused on three blooms growing on a branch, all at different stages of development. Near the root of the stem was a soft, round bud, growing in obscurity amongst the green leaves. She must have been like that bud as a child, all the potential of her life still hidden. Further up the narrowed stem a delicate flower hung precariously, pink edged petals upturned to the sun. His eyes moistened with unshed tears. She had told him many times about Jesus giving new life to all who would accept Him into their hearts. But he hadnít understood and had questioned her angrily as the disease took its toll. At the top of the stem a full-blown rose drooped gracefully, creamy petals edged with a brown frill, indicating its near end. It was anchored to the trellis by a thin thread, lovingly secured by someone aware of its need.
Rosie used to tell him that God had a purpose for her life and she had lived out that purpose in giving her time and energy Ďreaching out into the communityí. But she had always cared for him, responding lovingly whenever he questioned God. She didnít know why God had allowed this illness, but she did know that her faith and trust in Jesus would carry her through.
A picture of his precious Rosie flickered through his mind again and he could almost see her as she had been before she died, lying quietly in their bed, subdued by the morphine that masked the pain. But just like the rose, someone had held her up too, secured her faith throughout her illness and given her the grace to smile and light up their world, right until the end. John became conscious that someone was speaking to him, not in an audible voice, but with the clear voice of the wonder of Creation.
Rosieís Bible lay open, just as she had left it at the dawn of her last day. He didnít need to read the text she had shared with him. She had pinned the words on his heart and etched them in his mind.
ĎPrecious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saintsí. (Psalm 116:15 NIV)
An irrepressible joy filled Johnís spirit as he surrendered his heart to Jesus. The I-pod was still playing!
ĎAnd in the end Iím going home. Iíll go to glory on Heavenís shore. And when Iím dying my soul will soar, for in the end I know Iím going home.í
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