Life can take a nasty turn sometimes.
The joy from the day was shattered 24 hours later with the phone call that everyone dreads.
Our brother-in-law Tony had had a heart attack and would require quadruple bypass surgery. Here is Tony just hours before, proudly displaying his impressive 25 pound turkey: The next couple of days were filled with sterile hospital halls, somber waiting rooms, many tears, powerful prayers, sleepless nights, bland cafeteria food, and agonizing waits.
In the midst of fear, sadness, and uncertainty, our family bonded tightly together throughout those scary hours.
Doug and I were so proud of our nephews and our niece (who are all adults now) for being so strong for their mom and for each other. We may only get together a couple of times a year these days, but when tragedy strikes, we are there for each other, no question. That is such a gift.
But the greatest gift in the midst of a nightmare is the soothing, comforting, and strong and steady Presence of Jesus. It seems that when the heartache of this life crashes in, His Light shines the brightest, the Hope He offers blazes brilliantly, and His Peace covers my fearful heart like a security blanket.
The news was good. Tony survived and as I write this four days later, he will be released to rehabilitation tomorrow.
It is a miracle and I give the Author of Life all the praise.
However, before any of us knew how this story would end, I was sitting alone in the hallway outside of the surgical ICU waiting room. I needed a break from that somber place where grieving family members speak in hushed tones and the lights are dim. I sat for a moment with my eyes closed, enjoying the feel of the warm sun that was shining from the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Then I heard the music: A woman’s voice raised in song rang through the hospital corridor.
She had one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard in my life: sweet, strong, and clear.
I couldn’t see her since I was too far down the hallway but I closed my eyes again and just let the music wash over my tired soul. She was singing in another tongue so I couldn’t understand any of the words, but I imagined that is what the voice of an angel singing would sound like.
It was exquisite…a reminder straight from Heaven that because He lives, beauty lives…even on the most desperate of days and in the saddest of places.
Life is fragile but His love is not.
The fire of love stops at nothing—it sweeps everything before it. Flood waters can’t drown love, torrents of rain can’t put it out. (Song Of Songs 6:8).
I’m grateful for the little reminders of that love that come just when I need it the most.
And I am most grateful for my beautiful God, who gives songs in the night. (Job 35:10).