Friday, November 16, 2001

Tribute to the glory of surrender

John Piper says that suffering and joy set us as Christians apart from other people - both finding joy IN our suffering, and CHOOSING suffering in order to find joy. In "listening" to the Father, am I hearing His voice closely enough to call me to suffer, to call me to do the hard and risky thing?

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As my son's monstrous brain tumor obscenely grew, after the doctor told him there was no earthly hope, something in him surrendered to the process of suffering and dying. Not resignation but rather anticipation; looking forward to his new adventure in resurrection glory. We wanted him to rage against death, to not go gently into it. We watched as he grew weaker in body but ever more strong gentleness, kindness, lack of fear and quietness. As he prepared for the resurrection, he grew in quietness. Once, I opened the door to his room and he was kneeling beside his bed, lighting a candle. I would like to have made a pallet beside his bed and remained with him at all times, never leaving his sweet presence but he needed solitude to prepare. I tried to give to him as a gift, as my small sacrifice....his anointing for burial. his days were gentle. We laughed when he talked to us. We don't remember what he said, only that we laughed and laughed and laughed. Suffering seemed only to be in the dread of his leaving even though he said it would only be a short time before we all met again. The dreading of his departure was the awful part; the awareness of it didn't make any easier to face on that evening when the "golden glow" of the Holy Presence entered his room.

My daughter was the first to see his eyes fly open when he suddenly awakened from his morphened sleep. He turned, looked at her, took his last breath as he sat up in bed and then......his body fell back as his soul left his body. And he was gone. Robert Frost said nothing gold can stay but my son's golden glow, while away at home, will be with us until that day when we cross over to join him.

That was someone I knew who suffered well and surrendered to it without fear. I knew him well and good.

Diane - His mother
Bo - 1966 - 1999