Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)
TITLE: On the Wings of Praise
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<i>“Can she hear us Doctor? Will she come back to us?”
“It’s hard to tell at this point. The ordeal of the crash on the mountain pass...well, let’s just say it’s miraculous that she even survived. We’ll do all that we can for her, but ultimately it’s up to her.”
“Up to God, you mean...”
“Yes, of course.”</i>
The glowing atmosphere dances with waves of haunting, majestic music, floating as though each note is suspended and savored before it is released. The sound wraps around my being and holds me in its embrace. I am warm inside a cocoon of melodic worship and praise, hovering on the edge of eternity, only barely aware of the life I once knew.
<i>“Sweetheart, it’s Mom. Can you hear me? I love you. Oh Jesus, sweet Jesus, please bring her back. Please...”</i>
A soft flowing cadence keeps time to the symphonic refrain seeping into my soul. Within the rhythm of each beat, I feel a transformation overtaking my will. At first I resist, then slowly, purposefully, I yield my heart, my thoughts, my being. The music permeates the fibers of my conscience. I feel drawn to its source.
<i>“Doctor, why isn’t she responding? It’s been six weeks...”
“We are doing all we can, but it may not be enough. The damage is beyond our capabilities. Her body must have time to try to heal on its own. Continue what you’ve been doing: talking, reading, singing. We don’t know how much she can comprehend, but there is hope some of it is getting through.”</i>
His Word becomes a molten river overflowing with healing. It fills me and pours through my flesh. Pure and holy thoughts consume me, purging the wounds of a lifetime. Surrounded by angelic praise, I feel only the joy of His presence as I continue to change-corruptible fading into incorruptible.
<i>“Honey? It’s been five months. I’m still praying. God knows what’s best for you; I know that. And I know He loves you...more than I do, even. I just wish you could let me know if you can hear me...”</i>
The tempo of the music builds, beckoning. I am aware of a new strength within. The transformation is complete, and I struggle against the constraints of that, which has encompassed me within its sacred chambers of harmony and grace. I desperately want to leave and become a part of the sound.
“I wish I had good news, but after nine months of hanging on, your daughter can no longer breathe on her own. Her vital organs have shut down. I’m sorry...you need to make a decision.”
“Please, my angel, it’s so hard to think of letting you go. Just let me know somehow that you understand I’ll always love you...” </i>
My eyes flutter open just long enough to make out the form of my mother kneeling beside my bed, her head bent. I hear her tears of grief and resignation fall like the gentle tinkling of silver chimes upon our clasped hands. I squeeze her hand in response. She looks up, and a thankful knowing floods her eyes as she sets me free.
<i>“Goodbye, my precious. I love you so much...”</i>
The veil of light, radiant with gemstone brilliance, parts to reveal the breathless splendor of Eternity. Time is no longer able to hold back the chorus of “Alleluias”, resounding through Heaven’s courts. A smile of pure joy graces the mortal shell I must leave behind, and like a butterfly breaking free from its cocoon, I fly on wings of praise into my Savior’s waiting embrace.
<i>(Author’s note: I cannot begin to fathom what it must be like to face the heartbreaking decision of whether to sustain the life of a loved one, or to set them free to inhabit the perfect realm of Eternity. My heart’s desire is that this ministers a measure of peace concerning the matter, and I pray that the Holy Spirit comforts and imparts His wisdom in each case brought before the throne of Heaven.)</i>
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