Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Easter (05/30/05)
TITLE: A Significant Sunrise
By Brad Paulson
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The first time Susan had ventured alone was the year that cancer had taken David’s leg. He was in too much pain to try to make it in his wheelchair and Susan was not sure she could push him up the uneven terrain. So they both decided that she would go it alone armed with a digital camera. Later that morning they enjoyed the sunrise together on David’s computer monitor.
This year she didn’t bring the camera because in February God had taken David home. A warm tear trickled down her face as she recalled the first four years of David’s life, before cancer had invaded his body. He was sweet, good natured and compassionate. Those qualities never left him as the disease besieged his body, but they were overshadowed by medical appointments and treatments that were often more agonizing than the cancer itself. Susan and Paul had to make many decisions during David’s thirteen year battle. It was common for them to wish they could undo a treatment they had just consented to. They did the best they could with the knowledge they had. Some of their decisions made the situation better, some made it worse.
“If only, if only, if only,” was a cadence that had kept Susan awake for many nights after David finally lost his battle. Feelings of guilt and failure were strangling her. Tears flowed freely as the sun continued to rise and a new day began.
“Forgive me Lord, I did my best but it wasn’t enough. Help me deal with the pain, Lord. My heart is broken, I miss him so much, why couldn’t I keep him alive?”
Half of the sun had now risen above the horizon and through her tears Susan thought she could see the silhouette of a cross. A sense of peace blanketed her as she realized God was speaking to her. It was not an audible voice, just a sense of understanding.
“He was always mine. Your job was to take care of him and to love him, but your primary purpose was to prepare him to be with me. You did your job and he is with me now. I love you and I am proud of you.”
The sun was now hovering above the horizon and its warming rays had begun to enshroud the landscape when Susan folded up her blanket. She felt a sense of peace that she had not encountered for a long time. Gratitude welled up in her as she thought about that quiet voice of reassurance, but most of all she was grateful to know that she hadn’t watched the sunrise alone.
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