Eight year old Sarah Smiles lay in her bed, propped up by two pillows. Her head, bald from the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, had been lovingly wrapped in a pink silk turban her grandmother made for her. She wore pink Hello Kitty pajamas, a gift from her uncle Jim.
Sarah was a beautiful child in every way, and a joy to all who knew her. God blessed her when he gave the last name of Smiles. Her shining eyes smiled and danced when she spoke, and she had an aura about her that rivaled that of the angels.
Sarah suffered from stage four pancreatic cancer, and tonight she felt nauseated from the medicine her mother had just given her. Chemo pills, the doctor called them. She had to take them twice a day, thirty minutes after a meal. Sarah hated the effects the little white tablets had on her stomach, but they were keeping her alive, at least for now.
Anyone who peeked in on Sarah tonight would have thought she was sleeping, but she wasn't. She had the most amazing coping skill she used when the pills made her sick. She could close her eyes and concentrate until she saw a magnificent light shining in the darkness and at once feel herself floating through its warm beams.
On the other side of the light appeared a sky of blue with dreamy, white clouds. There were beautiful, majestic mountains beyond the clouds, and Sarah felt as close to heaven as she could get without actually being there.
Sarah would fly about as if she had wings. She loved the feeling of freedom, and as she flew she could almost see beyond the mountains to the other side. She knew for certain that just across the very tallest peak was the place her spirit would fly to when the cancer finally took her life. Someone there waited for her.
"Can I cross over now?" Sarah would ask the Man who was waiting.
"No, Sarah, it's not time yet. In just a little while, but not yet." A gentle voice from the tallest mountain always answered.
Sarah didn't tell a soul about these experiences. It was a secret between herself and God. Her mother kept telling her she was going to live, but Sarah knew better. Soon she would be crossing over that tall mountain and back to the Man she had come to know as Jesus before she was ever born.
"The earth is not your heavenly home, Sarah. It is only your earthly place. Soon you will return to your real home, because I need a spirit such as yours here." Jesus would tell her.
One night, Sarah became very ill, and as she floated through the light she saw Jesus standing there with open arms. This was her time! At last she could cross over! She wanted so badly to go with Him, but she suddenly thought of her mother and how her heart would break if Sarah left her, and she began to cry.
"What's wrong, my child? I thought you wanted to come home." Jesus' voice was soft as a whisper.
"My mother will be so sad. I don't have a daddy, and she'll be all alone. I don't want for her to hurt. Jesus, I want to come with You, but I don't want to leave my mother. Even though I'm sick, I don't like to think about her being alone.”
Jesus' face broke into a broad smile, and a single teardrop glistened on His face. He slowly began to disappear, but not before He softly said, "Go back to your earthly place, Sarah. I can see that someone there needs you more than I do right now."
The following day Sarah's mother took her to have a cat scan, and the tumor in her pancreas had shrunk to half of its earlier size. Two months later, a repeat scan showed the tumor had disappeared. Sarah was a normal, healthy child again. Her doctor couldn't believe it, and had no answers for this astounding turn of events, but Sarah only smiled. She knew why she had been so miraculously healed.
Sarah's aura is even more radiant these days, but she no longer sees that bright light when she closes her eyes. Not for the time being, anyway.
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