Monday, January 02, 2006

The Garden of Eden

In our home we have displayed on our wall a reproduction of Briton Riviere's "The Garden of Eden". It is a portait of a couple walking down a dark, rainy path together. The man holds an umbrella in one hand, and his other hand is being held in a clasp of the woman's two hands. The man has turned to look at the woman, and as they gaze lovingly into each other's eyes, a small smile comes across the woman's face.

I have always loved this painting, because it is symbolic of peace amidst affliction. Despite the rain and gloom, it is the Garden of Eden - heaven on Earth - for this couple as they share a moment together.

My husband and I have had to endure moments of adversity in the past, and we are in the midst of our greatest affliction during this cancer experience. Yet we are like that couple, walking through the gloom and feeling like we are in Eden when we are together.

One day, as I rested safely in my husband's arms, I couldn't help but ask, "If I am already in heaven, does that mean I don't have to die?"

If I do have to go, there is a painful price to pay for such love. The idea of separation from the "great love of my life" and my precious children, albeit even a temporary separation, is the only thing I fear about death. Meanwhile, however, I am grateful for those moments together in "Eden".


AmyLee said...

I will pray for you and your family. I happened upon your blog and it is humbling to me. Thank you for helping me to humble myself. I am grateful beyond belief that I found your blog and have added it to my favorites as a daily reminder of how trivial my problems are. I so desire to have the type of love in my life that you have in yours. Jared, Jacob and Emma are truly blessed to have someone in their life like you. I'm praying for God's healing powers for you.

Marnie said...

A friend of mine said to me once, "Dying itself isn't so bad; it's how you die [the suffering that leads up to your death] and whom you leave behind."

After facing the possibility of an unpleasant, drawn-out death, I'm not so sure that how I die, and the suffering it contains, is much of a fear for me anymore. I really don't think it's such a big deal.

But the ones I leave behind!

I know, as you say, that such a separation is temporary, and to me will be short. I will be fine without them for a while.

But will they be fine without me?

. . . still praying for you.