by Andrew Dyck
In truth, we are all on this particular journey, though it seems she is further along than my family and I anticipated. Or hoped. As cancer wreaks its havoc unseen, she is confined to bed, where she has spent the last three months. It is appropriate to call this time bittersweet, as shock of her terminal diagnosis has been accompanied by rich time together during her final days. I treasure all the conversations with my mother, holding onto them as unexpected gifts never again to be taken for granted. We have talked about deep matters of faith, memories of a life lived together, poked fun at my dad’s expense and bemoaned the Winnipeg Jets’ leaky team defense. Big things, small things, and everything in between.
We spend most of our lives trying not to think about death. When it approaches, we find nowhere to hide. Death is something to be acknowledged, and this acknowledgement allows us an opportunity for life to be lived in acceptance of our mortality. Psalm 90 urges God to “teach us to number our days that we get a heart of wisdom.” The fact that our days are numbered is not something to invoke fear, rather something that God can use to help us understand what it means to truly live. How can we make the most of the days God has given us?
I have spent the past three months praying for a miracle. If I ever forget to ask for one during a mealtime prayer, my eldest son quickly reminds me, “And pray for a miracle for Grandma.” The faith of a child is a wonderful thing. I was even able to pray over my mother for physical healing, holding her hand tight and crying out to God. God seems determined to call her home. Where is the miracle?
The Easter season carries with it the timely, perfect reminder that God has already answered my prayer. My mom may never regain physical health, but she will live. The God of miracles approached death—not as something to be accepted—but as something to be overcome. As Jesus willingly breathed His last breath upon the cross, He did so for my mom, for me, and for you. And when He breathed again three days later, He paved the way for us to do the same. The dead have life; this is the one miracle that matters.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” (John 5:25)