Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Second Chance Scenario

My mind was clawing its way slowly back to clarity.  I knew that I was in hospital and that I was desperately ill.  It was February, a few years ago, and I had been to the brink.  Among my early conscious moments after a long period of deep coma I heard two nurses talking.  They were asking each other if either of them had received any Valentine Day cards.  Gradually I caught on, and realised that I had missed this annual opportunity to tell Diane how much she means to me.  I do tell her that every day, of course, but weeks of hospitalisation had robbed us of the daily hugs and reassurance that are part of the paintwork of our marriage.  So I dreamed up a solution.  When my friend Bob came to see me I asked him to buy a rose for Diane and send it to her as if it had come from me.  The only problem was that I couldn't speak.  I tried to write down my instructions and thought I had done so clearly, but years later he showed me the card on which I had scrawled a meaningless array of scratches and lines.  But, he twigged it and realised what I was asking him to do for me.

When Diane received a single red rose later that day she was moved to tears.  I had hardly spoken to her for weeks and was still lying in ICU full of wires and monitors.  'To my darling Diane, from your loving husband' my friend Bob had written.  Through her tears and sobs, she tells me, my wife began to hope that I might come back again from the valley of the shadow of death.  And I did.  God was so gracious to us.  He gave us back to one another  and allowed us to share again in a relationship that has been so special since the very first day we saw one another, February 29th 1968 - leap year day.

So - you can imagine how special Valentine's Day is to us each year.  A simple single red rose tells us both that we serve the God of the Second Chance!  Each year we look at that little flower and remember the One who says 'I will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten!'  This year more than ever, we are so grateful for that understanding.