Tuesday, April 8, 2014

THE EMPTY ROOM

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Dedicated to my mother, Maria, with all my love. May we always have a reason to dance and rejoice!

Today, like so many other mornings, they began to walk towards the room that had for so many months been the cocoon that hid the weakening form they'd know before as their example of strength. They slowly ventured into the room, reaching for the door, already replaying in their minds the translucent hands no longer able to reach out and caress their faces. They envisioned the breathless shell of the tower of encouragement she had always been, but had lately wasted away before them. Tears slowly fell upon each cheek as they looked at one another, imagining they had not been able to speak one last good bye, feel one last kiss, give one last embrace.

Trying not to make unnecessary sounds, they painfully opened the door without any, only to find the once dark room, filled with light. The layers of down comforters had been replaced by an old favorite, making the room appear as a bride would ready her bed for her coming event.   "Where is she? Who has taken her? Where has she gone?" They asked themselves in whispers, unable to barely speak as the drumming of their hearts took away their courage to say the words banging away in their thoughts. Sunlight behind the cotton curtains, spoke of life still reaching out, inviting them to look beyond the veil, beyond their fears, and beyond their doubts. The once covered room had lost all the windows and now bathed in the sunlight and the aroma of grass freshly rinsed in early morning rain.

Running to the edge of the curtains, they extended their necks to look out into the fields. Amazed at the sight, they leaped over the wooden balcony and ran to the sight before them. There she was, hands raised to the heavens, bathing in the glorious light of something greater than the sun, someone greater than all the infirmities and afflictions that had bound her to the bed for so long. They froze for a moment as they watched her rejoice, dance and embrace the newness of another day. She, the one who had seemed ready to leave this world and meet another. But, how?

She turned to see her children standing in awe, faces saturated in tears, and she smiled. She laughed and she allowed the laughter to come with all her strength from deep inside. She moved her hands and motioned them to come closer. "Yes, it is me! Come, and see what the Lord has done! For I was dead and He has given me life!" As they ran to their mother and embraced her, they realized what God had done. So many times they had prayed for healing, but really more accepting death and not life. So many times they had said they trusted God but they had only trusted that He would take her into his presence when the time was right.

 All the while, she had held on to His promises, regardless she had believed. The room of sadness had become the room of light. The room where death waited, was now the room that reminded all of life still promised for times of rejoicing. The room of disappointment, pain, and discouragement, was now an invitation for joy, hoping again, and believing in prayer. God had healed! God had restored! God had answered!

The three grown children, along with their aging, vibrant and gloriously radiant mother, accepted the hands that reached out to them. And, as if on cue, the heavens thundered with applause, causing rain to gently fall upon them as they joined their mother in the dance of praise unto the One who had found delight in giving life for many more seasons to come.

How often times we pray, yet, surrendering ourselves to an outcome completely the opposite of what we supposedly are praying and believing for. God is still in the business of miracles. I just wonder, if we are.


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