Saturday, June 01, 2013

A glimpse of the queendom



“The Queendom is like a man who stumbled across treasure buried in a field...”

I’m learning my lines for my “Gospel According To Jesus Queen Of Heaven”. 

I’m rewriting the book, chapter by chapter. I’m strangely steeped in Jesus’ words, which is odd for someone who was an atheist for so many years.

And I spent today in a profound meditation class run by Father Laurence Freeman (http://www.wccm.org/home) and he was using this story to end meditation.

And then we were reflecting on it together, a practice he calls lectio divina.

After that was over I suddenly had a memory. A memory apparently out of nowhere: of the day I learnt Susie’s brain tumour would kill her, and that in the hospital’s judgement she had only a few days to live.

I was in the relative’s room of the hospital ward, and had just been told, and had undertaken to be the one to tell Susie. And knew I would also have to tell my daughters. And tell her mum too.

It was one of the worst moments of my life, and I’d been left alone with it. The nurse had gone off to fetch a cup of tea, as British people do at such moments, and I was staring blankly out the window.

And then I saw the tree. It was a pretty sad tree, growing in the shadow of the cancer ward, but it was doing its best. As trees do. 

It was doing everything it could to make the most of what little it had. And it struck me as quite indescribably beautiful.

And then the nurse brought the tea, hospital tea, with sugar in it, and it tasted like the best tea I had ever tasted in my life.

After Susie had been told she entered a state of grace. There are no other words for it.

Somehow I did too. In the middle of all this desperate sadness there was this sense of profound thankfulness and joy. Thankfulness for the love we had for each other and for the precious few days we had been given to enjoy it.

I was remembering all this in the converted school gym the class was being held in, and the woman next to me said “You’re Sue Innes’ partner, aren’ t you?”. 

It turned out she had nursed Susie in the hospice; that she had been with her when Susie died. “She was larger than life”, she said. And “We enjoyed going into her room. We always laughed together”. And “She was utterly peaceful when she died”.

And I sit now and look out at the beautiful evening sunlight, and I can’t say I understand anything at all.

The story says when the man found the treasure he buried it again. And then “for sheer joy” sold all he had so he could 
buy the field.

That forgotten glimpse of heaven did cost us everything, as far as our love went. And that treasure, which has just come to light, did get buried.

Buried deep in my heart.


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