Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: CALL (01/14/16)
- TITLE: An Invitation Home
By Belinda Peoples
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
‘Mum, I’m just rubbing some cream on. It’s lavender. It’s supposed to help with headaches.’
I knew it was lavender.
Her voice is close. It’s someone I love. She speaks with such care and tenderness.
A daughter, my daughter. She has been with me all morning. Yesterday too, I think.
‘Where did you get the cream, Mum?’ a second voice asks.
Another voice, another daughter. Not mine though. A younger voice.
‘Nan gave it to me actually, a few years ago. She loved this sort of thing, especially if it was lavender.’
Ah, yes. The second voice is my granddaughter.
‘She’ll love you rubbing it on her temples then, Mum. Maybe you should rub some on your temples too?’
A chuckle from my daughter. Such a pleasure to hear that, in this room.
‘Yes, I should. I will.’
This room. I see a cold fluorescent light and a beige wall. Everything else is a blur, except the voices. The voices are crystal clear, a blessing in the midst of this horrendous struggle. I hear them now, talking to each other.
‘I’m going to make myself a coffee. Do you want something?’ My daughter asks.
‘A cup of tea would be lovely. Thanks, Mum.’
‘I’m going to call Uncle Jim while I’m out there too. See where he’s up to.’
‘OK. What time did he say he would get here?’
‘I suggested he come to our house and meet us there. He said he’d get there by about 2. I thought it might be best to… prepare him. Then we’ll come up here again together.’
‘OK, that’s a good idea Mum.’
The voices stop. Everything is blurry again.
‘Nan?’ My granddaughter’s voice cuts through the blur. I see her face now, close to mine. Her eyes are sad, but smiling at me, telling me everything will be OK. She touches my shoulder and strokes my hair. Her eyes remain fixed on mine while she speaks.
‘Nan, Jesus loves you. He’s calling you home. It’s OK to go and be with him now. Uncle Jim will be here soon. You can wait for him if you want to. But if you want to go and be with Jesus, that’s OK too.’
I feel the pain it causes, for the people who love me, to say these words. It’s not the first time I’ve heard them here, in this room. I want desperately to tell them I’ve heard their loving invitation to journey home, but I can’t go yet. The blur closes in.
‘Mum?’ My daughter’s voice. I see the beige wall. I don’t know how much time has passed.
‘Mum, we’re just going home for a quick bite to eat. I’m going to come back with Jim, OK?’
‘Bye Nan.’ My granddaughter’s voice betrays her feelings. I think she knows she won’t see me here again.
They are at the door now. I groan. I groan again. It’s all I can manage. I don’t know if I’ll see them again. My daughter hurries back to my side and strokes my hair.
‘It’s OK Mum. I love you. I’ll be back soon with Jim… I love you. Bye Mum.’
She kisses my forehead and I feel peace with letting them leave. I hope my daughter feels the same peace I do.
Excruciating minutes pass. The blur won’t return, but I almost wish it would. My broken body screams at me with the struggle to stay here. A noise, footsteps coming closer, a face near mine.
It’s my James.
‘Mum, it’s Jim. The roads were so good I got here early. I had to drive past to get to Jenny’s so I thought I should call in.’
He holds my hand. There’s no need for words. This is what I’ve been waiting for. Time stands still for us, stretching this precious moment into hours.
He kisses my cheek. ‘Mum, I have to go. I’ll be back with Jenny. I love you.’ His footsteps fade as he leaves the room.
Colours so wonderfully radiant fill my vision. They seep through to soothe my aching soul. I see Jesus, he’s bathed in glorious,
warm light. He holds out his hand.
‘Come. I have a new body prepared for you in a place where there is no sickness and no pain.’
The love and trust I have in Jesus overwhelm me. I take his hand and accept his invitation home.
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