Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Walk

Today I went for a walk.

Step by step. One foot in front of the other, one would rise, the other would fall. One lifted as the other set to rest…for the length of a stride.

And I thought about the last few days…weeks.

We buried Ma. We needed rest. But, the text message read, “Shyloh’s water broke.” Our youngest wasn’t due for another three weeks, but now she was in the hospital, in labor.

As Ma was entering the tomb, our grandbaby was exiting the womb.

Our conversation during the drive to the hospital revolved around timing—God’s perfect timing. As much as we wanted to break the speed limit, we didn’t. Instead, we prayed for God’s perfect timing.

As we were pulling in to the hospital parking lot, the hospital doctor was pulling our grandbaby into the world.

With Kayla, pregnant daughter number two, safely dropped off at the entrance, I found the only spot that didn’t threaten to, “Tow at owners expense”—a hundred miles from the door.

Ignoring my Dougism, “Take yer time, you’ll get there faster,” I jumped out of the truck and sprinted a hundred miles across ice and puddle to the hospital entrance. As I ran, I checked the pocket of my flannel jacket, where I’d stuffed the truck keys—nothing. Did I lock them in the truck? Did they fall out of my pocket during the dash to the door? Well, I’ll have to look later—it’s another story, I’ll tell you about later—now, I’ve got a baby to see.

My hundred mile dash, must not have been that fast. Kayla had already gone to find her sister. Could you blame her?

I made my way to the fourth floor maternity ward and with the help of a nurse, found the delivery room.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. March 26th 2013, at 12:11 p.m., five pound six ounce, nineteen and three quarter inch, Saphira Jo Spurling entered this world—just before I entered the room.

I’d seen a lot of tears the past few weeks, but these looked different. Instead of pain leaking it was hope streaming. The hugs felt different too—and for the moment pain was replaced with joy. Newness of life took the place of sorrow.

I could hear drums rolling and an anthem playing, The Circle of Life. It was Mufasa lifting Simba for the entire kingdom to see and cheer for the newborn king. If you didn’t see The Lion King that last sentence will make no sense; so let me say it another way.

It was Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after declaring: “I AM the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me though he dies, yet shall he live…Lazarus, come forth.”

It was God The Father raising Jesus from the dead and lifting Him up for all the kingdoms of the world to see and cheer for the Newborn King of Kings, The Lion of the tribe of Judah.

Is it not Resurrection Season? What better time for God to shout His message of life from death than now?

My mother in law entered Eternal Life on the first day of spring. Our daughter’s water broke as we were laying my mother in law to rest. They both were declaring with a shout:

“A new season of life has begun.”

As I walked today, I thought about this…all of this.

And I wondered about my steps. One step after another, one foot lifted from the earth another fell to the ground. Where did the step begin? Where did it end? With the lifting up? Or the setting down? Was not the setting down, as much a part of the step, as the lifting up? Didn’t all of it fit together to make the full step?

As I held my new grandbaby, I wondered, did her life just begin or has it just started to end? Did Ma’s life end…or has it just begun?

I’m still wondering.

I don’t know the whys or hows or what ifs about so many things—like why I lost my keys or how they’d be found—but perhaps I’ve found a key, caught a glimpse of something. When we start and when we end, doesn’t matter all that much, as long as we’re walking with—The One Who Matters.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm23:4

“It’s not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln


Sheila said...

This piece just takes my breath. And what a beautiful little girl! Congratulations.

In 2008, I left the delivery room where our granddaughter Carly had just debuted and went straight to the airport. My sister and I flew to Nevada to attend the first post-op appointment with my mother's oncologist. I knew what the news would be--had known since the day my dad told me Mom was in the hospital.

God is so, so good at pointing us, even in our grief, to His promise of eternal life.

caryjo said...

I'm so happy for you. You walked through so much with Ma. Sorrow and rejoicing. Now, walking through joy ... and a heart that is always thinking of the future, both here and through eternity.

[Hope you found the keys.]

OH, and hope I'm not offensive, but I sure don't watch or listen to The Lion King ... especially after living in Africa where this took place ... but worshiping the wrong god. Jesus is my Lion King. I have a flag on my porch with a picture of a lion with a crown and the words below are Lion of Judah. Yep, that be my joy.

Bless you, Doug.