Friday, April 8, 2016

The Romance of Redemption and a Small Orchid Plant


I've been doing a very careful dance with Jesus since my dad died. It's a tenuous, nervous sort of tapping feet on the scratched and nicked floors of life. I don't find comfort in His strong arms wrapped tight around my spirit. Instead, I'm flailing arms wide, through air, lip-syncing, and hoping against all hope I can settle in to the sweet, slow song to which He's swaying.

I'm sure I look rabid. I feel rabid, wild, terrified of the slow lull. But, He's a Romantic. And so, He's brought me flowers. He brought me orchids. And with them, He invited me to put on my best dress, my dancing shoes, and to sway in a gentle, comfortable way.

Romance only feels divine when it's tailored, every detail covered and consumed. He tailors. Romance only works when you understand the pain of heartache. I understand.

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The night my dad was diagnosed I perched on a white wooden Ikea desk chair. Like a bird I sat, looking pensive and feeling shattered. My back was to my bedroom door and I watched the sky between the apartment buildings. The glass slider door to my balcony was streaked with hazy mess. I'd soon clean it incessantly. But for the day, I was nineteen years old and terrified about Alzheimers' and North Korea's atom bomb.

The night my dad was diagnosed, my roommate left an orchid on my desk. I was in the shower hoping steam could clean me of the shaky fear of bad news. She tied a bow around the stem and support stick. I never said thank you. I just sat at the desk, damp and depressed, stroking the little fuchsia flowers with my finger tips. And in the following days, the orchid died.

I assigned the orchid a new name: omen. And I nursed an angry hate. I hated the displays of them at grocery stores from then till now. I heard they were fickle and sensitive and wanted to scream. I saw them in tattoos and magazines, on Instagram and Facebook and shivered in the richness of my disdain. Those flowers, their memory, my loss.

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But romance is divine when it's redemptive. 
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And on Easter weekend, redemption went from the cross to a small chapel in his memory facility. A small chapel now named after my dad. A small chapel meant to draw redemption into one of earth's most devastatingly broken places just like he did. Just like He does.

On Easter weekend, we sat in the chapel; a family gathered in a final, divine orchestration by Him. We huddled in and sweated as too many bodies stood in the room that He shares with my dad. And as we sat, the flowers were delivered. Two staff with smiles on the lips and tears in their eyes, thanked us for sharing him.

And the flowers that sat in my lap were polka-dotted orchids. I wasn't ready for the question that came with it. I wanted to remain in my seat, a wallflower with the white pot in her lap. And His patience poured out once again.

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He'll ask again -the Dancing King. And next time, I'll change into my Sunday best and say yes.

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