I stopped to see a lady at the cancer center whom I have known for a couple of years. Her cancer has gradually been advancing and she knows she is running out of options to treat it. In the many times we have talked we have developed an ease and comfort level that allows us to go in many directions from the superficial to the intimate. On this day when I sit down and start to talk with her she begins by saying it is her son’s birthday today. “He would have been fifty-six years old today,” she said. Two years ago he had fallen off a ladder in his backyard and when someone finally found him he had died from the injuries he had suffered in the fall. She was still mourning his loss and the loss of her daughter to cancer a year or two previous to the loss of her son. As we talked about the pain of the loss of two of her children she indicated she was not going to prolong her own suffering if she could not overcome her cancer. Depending upon the next scans that were going to be taken of her body she was thinking she was getting close to letting go of this life and moving ahead to the life to come. “I am looking forward to heaven”, she said, and then with an impish grin she added, “I can’t wait to see the British green Jaguar that is going to be sitting there waiting for me.” We both laughed at the image of that beautiful car standing there with the door open and the keys in the ignition and she striding up to it ready to get behind the wheel. As I sat with her and we reflected on the grace and love of our God who has so much to give to us I said, “Maybe there is going to be lots more there for you besides that British Green Jaguar.” “Oh”, she said, “I don’t want to be greedy. I’m not going to ask for anything more than that.”
I thought of how much pain and loss this woman had experienced in her life. I thought of how much she must have wondered about why all these things had happened to her. I thought of how she had kept on going and kept on finding humor and meaning in her life. I thought of how this had become such a moment of grace for me to be sitting with her as I watched her believing in grace, seeking grace, finding grace, and beginning to see that ultimately our God’s grace is way beyond a British Green Jaguar.
To all of you who are struggling along, dealing with physical and emotional and spiritual pain, wondering if you can get through it all, wondering if there is a crumb of bread for you from the Master’s table, I say remember the British Green Jaguar and know your God has so much more in store for you.