Takaom Universe

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

The heart of the matter

My writing friend Diane M Graham though her many courageous blog entries has inspired me to share this time  from my heart.

One of my goals, call it an editorial policy, is to consistently proclaim God's active involvement in human affairs. Through my writing, I want to tell the forces of darkness that their time on Earth is about up and that they have already been disarmed by Jesus' finished work on the cross.

I want to stress God's sovereign power over all.   I also want to state without a doubt that miracles are still happening. God is still defending and nurturing those who love him and call out to him.

Whenever I write about the unfailing love of God, someone brings forward a litany of woes that God has apparently not addressed. They name natural disasters, wars, and inevitably the big "C," cancer.

I know the big "C" quite well. Cancer has killed many family members.   It claimed the life of my second wife  after a hard, five-year struggle against ovarian cancer.  I know it and hate what it does.

On the evening of Memorial Day weekend 2008 while she lay in her hospital bed, I closed the blinds of her windows in preparation for a fast-moving thunderstorm.  We had been together in the hospital for almost eight weeks doing everything possible, both medically and spiritually.

My heart and body ached. I didn't know how long I could keep going.  Three days earlier, our doctors told us that nothing else could be done.

In her lucid moments under heavy morphine she said she wanted to go home. She had made her choice, yet it was a reluctant one. She was still looking to guidance from the Holy Spirit, as was I.  It was simply time to take her home and wait on God.

I knew that if God did not intervene, she would die within days from a deeply-rooted untreatable  infection, a side-effect of the last cancer operation.

The storm arrived, with its cold, driving rain pelting the windows. I was numb, unable to pray, unable to do anything but mark the slow passing of time until we could leave on Tuesday morning.  I felt abandoned by God. In closing the blinds I wanted to shut out the world, shut out the pain, and simply shrink within myself.

The rain stopped and through the blinds I saw an intense, golden light.  I opened the blinds and there on the front lawn stood the magnificent arc of a double rainbow, flying over the hospital.  I could hear the startled exclamation of the nuring staff as they scurried from room to room.

I remembered the first time we came to the hospital, five years previously.  It was a Friday evening and after two hard weeks,  I was walking down the hall from my wife's hospital room toward the elevator to get a bite to eat.  I heard astonished murmurs from the rooms I passed, but I was too tired to care.  A nurse came up from behind, grabbed my arm and took me back to my wife's  room.  She pointed out the window. There on the front lawn stood a magnificent double rainbow, arcing over the hospital.

At that time, I thought that 2003 double rainbow was a sign from God that all was well and things would work out according to His plan.  Five years later, I was again staring at a double rainbow.  I remembered that my wife was unconscious the first time as she was the second time the double rainbow appeared.  Then I realized the rainbows were not signs to her of God's unfailing love, they were signs meant for me. He broke into the mundane world to tell me that He would never abandon me or forsake me.

"No matter what happens," I said to the LORD. "I will always love you and I will always serve you."

I wept, looking out the windows as long as the double rainbow lasted.  A nurse came into the room and I told her about the first double rainbow.  I asked her how many times double rainbows occurred at the hosptial.  She told me she had only ever seen one and that was in Colorado. She claimed none of the nursing staff had ever seen a double rainbow at the hospital.

"It's a miracle," she whispered.

"Yes,"  I said. "It is."

I have come to understand what  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego meant when they told King Nebuchadnezzar they knew that God would deliver them from a fiery death. Then in Daniel 3:18 they said as  thumbs in the eyes of the dark powers listening through their human hosts, ""But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

I will always love Him and always serve Him, no matter what.  In the two years since, God sent me a beautiful, loving woman to be my bride. With her zest for life, she has loved me back to life and encouraged my writing.  I am very blessed, but blessed most of all to be loved by our passionate, loving Father.  He has never failed me.

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