only a glimpse

i woke up this morning acutely aware of where i was exactly 4 months ago.

four months ago, i was watching mason’s final moments on this earth. i heard the terrifying words “no pulse” and watched with horror as my son began to receive chest compressions. he was already on a ventilator and surrounded by nurses and doctors giving him meds, checking his vitals and helping him fight for his life.

at 7:13 am he entered eternity. i see that day through my eyes, a heartbroken hurting mother who looks back at the course of only a few precious hours and still wonders with shock, “wait… what happened?”

i finished reading The Last Battle with my kids this week. the final adventure in narnia ends with narnia itself ending and heaven beginning.

my poor kids had to, yet again, sit through the discomfort of their mother sobbing as I read the beauty and the glorious depiction of the perfection of heaven. (they are more than slightly used to my tears, but still…)

“‘isn’t it wonderful?’ said lucy. ‘have you noticed one can’t feel afraid, even if one wants to? try it.'”

at one point there was a description of fruit. and after trying and trying to explain how amazing it is, the author simply says, “if you had once eaten that fruit, all the nicest things in this world would taste like medicines after it. but i can’t describe it. you can’t find out what it is like unless you can get to that country and taste it for yourself.”

with tears filling my eyes I said to my kids, “imagine how great it is for mason today. imagine the delight!”

repeatedly, the newcomers to aslan’s country (heaven) are told to come “further up! further in!” but… how can you rush so quickly through the perfection and glory and beautiful detail of heaven? in fact, even as they try, they can run faster than ever imagined, never running out of breath, never running out of wonder and happiness to absorb.

today, mason is going further up and further in. exploring, enjoying, laughing.

i wouldn’t want him to come back to this earth. don’t get me wrong, i never, ever, ever would have chosen him to go in the first place. i do want him here. i ache for him. but now that he has seen Jesus, now that he as experienced true perfection, why would i make him suffer through this existence?

the chronicles of narnia have been a beautiful comfort these last months. while the reality of heaven is so far beyond our simple comprehension, c.s. lewis does a beautiful job creating a picture, a glimpse, a thought, of something spectacular.

and in narnia, death is never the ending. not for those who love aslan. its only the beginning!

griffin woke this morning at 6:44, yelling for daddy, disoriented after a night of sleep. i went in to get him and was met immediately with the question, “sun up?”

griffin has an obsession with day and night. everything revolves around “sun up.” he’ll ask for something at night… a snack, a trip to the park, a movie… and if the answer is no, he’ll respond with, “sun up?” which means, “can I have it tomorrow when the sun is up again?”

and if its “sun up,” it means he can get out of bed… a new day of hope and endless possibilities. i took him to the kitchen to look out the window, to show him “sun up” and saw the beginnings of the most glorious sunrise. the sky was bright red. glowing. the clouds varying in different degrees of crimson. even griffin lifted his head from my shoulder and breathed a surprised, “wow!”

we watched the sky for a moment and i looked at the clock. 6:47. at this moment 4 months ago i was watching a big, strong man doing chest compressions on my sweet, tiny boy. No pulse, no ability to breathe on his own. i was holding my own breath at each 2 minute break in compressions when they’d check yet again for a non-existent pulse and then yet another person would resume compressions for yet another 2 minutes.

i can still feel that room. i can see the worried glances of nurses in my direction. i can hear my husband whispering desperate prayers to God. i can hear the calmness of the doctor calling out orders. i can see the paramedic who transported us… with sirens wailing, sailing through red lights… standing in the hall, still next to his stretcher, wiping tears from his eyes.

i can easily see all these things. i live this moment over and over. but when I looked back from the clock to the beautiful radiant sky, i heard God tell me, “only a glimpse.”

this sunrise, this beauty and glory, is only a glimpse of what mason is seeing right now. while i see that hospital room as an ending, it really was a beginning. a beginning of such perfection and delight that i simply can’t even begin to imagine.

“But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

–CS Lewis, The Last Battle

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