Monday, October 25, 2010
Love Revealed, Greensboro, NC
May doubt and fear be replaced by a growing trust in the presence of a greater creator all around you today.
My wife of forty years and I liked to walk together through a small local park for the conversation, exercise, and fresh air and to view the beauty of the present moments along the meandering paths. It was a nice break from the rigors of fighting breast cancer and we had both come to terms with the reality of our mortal existence. On an early July morning as we started our walk, Karen remarked that she simply didn’t have the strength to walk very far, so we sat down on a wooden bench near the parking lot. I liked to photograph whatever was in full glory on a given day. We all see in life what we look for in life. My eye immediately caught the bright white petals of Magnolia blooms close to us. The filtered morning light cast a contrasting hue on the blooms and on one bloom in particular that must have just opened within minutes of our arrival. There were other blooms in various stages of life next to this particular bloom which I also photographed, but this one unblemished bloom was special. I returned to the bench and showed the pure white image to Karen and we both marveled at its flawless beauty. We lingered there for awhile, and then returned home.
Karen spent the balance of the day resting as we thought the latest chemo treatment was especially potent. The next morning she awoke uncharacteristically confused and our Oncology staff advised me to call an ambulance immediately. That marked our last trip together to the park and the hospital.
As I drove past the small park this week, it suddenly occurred to me to seek out the immaculate image that had been revealed to us on that cool summer’s morn. I easily found the photo file dated July 1, 2008. I now recall how much peace the image had instilled in both of us at the time. We didn’t know that the cancer which had been held at bay was out of control and would shortly end Karen’s brave fight. But as I now have the benefit of the passage of time to reflect, I’m confident that God was revealing his pure love and presence to both of us, enabling us to persevere for the following fifteen days, and providing us with a message of lasting peace in the grand scheme of life, death and renewal. It was a message not conveyed by words, but an image of our creator who dwells in all that is good.