Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tug Of War

Ferocious winds blew all week. Before that it had only been windy a day here and a night there before a balmy reprieve would return gifting days all the more worth savoring knowing they might be the last. The gentleness of fall strains against the power of winter. As if on borrowed time, a tug-of-war teeters undecided, but fall will succumb and winter will emerge victorious.

I planned for one of those balmy days to get my last outdoor job finished. Digging cannas. It's a big job and the only time of the year I don’t like the towering, showy flowers. But I know they must be dug because cannas will not survive the winter outdoors. They will die.
Now, my balmy reprieve has been snatched away by days of foreboding winds capped by a cold, soaking rain. I don’t know if I will get another chance to save my cannas for planting next spring.

My grandfather has lived an incredible 96 years and now he is in a tug-of-war. He slowly weakens as his life here on earth retreats. Some days are sharper than others. Processing information sometimes requires more energy than he has. Other days he recalls minute details I can’t even remember. I’ve watched the tug-of-war and waited for opportunities to help him in battle with the inevitable-winter. He has been a four-term State Senator, a pioneer in his industry, he even oversaw a prisoner of war work camp during WWII. But he does not know Jesus. Winter is tugging and he will not survive.

The foreboding winds slammed into reality last week when he fell and broke his hip. Surgery, a hospital stay then back to the nursing home. He never knew what was happening or why. Just like what happened to my grandma, but she never returned. Feeling that it had been snatched away, I prayed for a balmy reprieve.

I've talked to my grandpa so many times about how believing in Jesus is the only to get to heaven. Usually, I walked away from the conversation astounded that the light of understanding still had not come on. How can truth and life fall on such deaf ears? Has God kept him alive all these years for the opportunity to give his life to Him? I don’t know. I just pray.

Yesterday, the phone rang and I heard my balmy reprieve. My grandpa asked about plans to go to a football game, detailing who was taking him and what time to be back at the home. I hung up the phone thanking God. He’s back.

I don’t know for how long. Winter is pounding on the door of his life and time is short. But, Praise God, I get another chance to share Jesus! I pray this time, the conditions will be right and he will understand. I pray he will find life in Jesus and he can live in the eternal springtime of heaven. Thank you God for granting him a reprieve. Use this time. Shape my words. Open his heart. Give him life.