In the four weeks of hospital and then extended care, I’ve had many dreams. In those dreams I have made plans – one of them to step in the car and head out on the highways of springtime, swooping somehow on an upward arc to meet a dear son of ours on a journey across the country, with his wife and two children soon to be coming to spend the end of June with us – in times for his mother’s 90th birthday party under a tent, on the lawn of Colonial Church, where he had spent the years of his childhood and growing up.
We look so forward to it. I’ve had Andrew “on my mind.” He phoned me almost daily during my three weeks in the care center. One evening he called to tell me about the boat race of the day in which his two tall lanky late-teenage kids had rowed. And then he lapsed into a lyrical account of how beautiful rowing is as a sport. Andrew himself had rowed for his college the year he’d spent abroad, studying at Oxford. “The sound of the oars entering the water together, with eight people pulling, and then the oars coming out – ready to swing forward for another stroke. It was just beautiful, Dad.”
Such a moment on the phone in my darkened hospital room with my son, talking about something we both loved.
But today, I found I had other appointments. I must stay, and continue my recovery, even though it will mean disciplines for me I am not sure I can fulfill. The nurse at the swallowing center, taking video pictures of my throat, said it bluntly when she saw the doubt on my face, “Well, the alternative is pneumonia.” I knew I had to fight back – even with doubts I would really do it.
All rather strange to me. How had I lived all these years and not have known about my swallowing difficulty. Is it too late? Can I correct it?
I will try – no matter how hungry I get. For I do still have dreams that can be fulfilled. Small ones, maybe, but appropriate ones. Dreams that still can happen, in life, in these days.
At supper tonight a wise daughter said, “Well Dad, the great thing still is PRAYER – learning what God is doing in the world now, and how He can use you for good.”
That’s a dream I want to continue to dream, till maybe certain things happen. He can still take my hand, and lead me on, and show me new deeds of ministry, yet to be done. In the city I know and love, along the streets that are familiar to me, even among people close to my heart, who are still alive, who still care, and who are praying.
About things like two wonderful churches getting together to do God’s work – Colonial, and Zion, two churches who each know that the Spirit is the way. The Spirit Jesus promised to send, and wants to send – into the Church’s heart in new ways, in these new days. There are people I can stand beside, and love, and encourage. Maybe there are words of love yet to say, that I can speak in quiet ways that can help these cities and the good people who want to be part of what God is ready to do now.
Please join me in praying for that – in these new days.
Arthur, with love.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES