Living With A Limp – Opaline - HOME

By Jerry Lout

 

I was out-of-country when news came of Opaline’s death. The word from Oklahoma was brief, Sister Opaline is now home. I learned later that her home-going was anything but “ordinary”.

Opaline’s pastor, Melvin Creason, had kept watch in her hospital room. He recalled Opaline’s expressions, her words – a seeming witness to other-worldly scenes shortly before her passing. Melvin relayed the wonder of her descriptions.

Nearing the end, the frail, beloved patient rallied. Her eyes opened wide – and wider yet – as though glimpsing another setting. By all accounts she likely was.

Suddenly her face beamed her radiant “Opaline-smile”. But from another place, it seemed while taking in vivid sounds and scenes.

“Oh! The colors, the beautiful colors. . . like none I’ve ever seen, like none I could imagine!” The words rushed joyfully through her lips. “Oh!  And the flowers, such beautiful gardens. . .beautiful, so beautiful!”

Her voice gradually trailed and her eyelids closed. But only for a little. Moments later with revived energy and the freshly wakened smile, Opaline resumed the adventure, rallying energy anew. It was sounds she caught this time.

“What glorious music!  The singing and music are so beautiful.  I can’t imagine. How lovely and beautiful. Oh! Lovely, glorious!”  Again her voice faded, her eyes closing.

Moments passed and all was quiet. Opaline was gone.

I have thought a lot of our two lives, Opaline’s and mine, of our similar and differing polio journeys. I’ve wondered of prayer. Wondered about a term – the Miraculous. I am confident that in both our journeys, miracles came into play. Throughout. A wondrous God entered our space and worked his works. 

At age nine – aided by crutches soon to be laid aside – I exited a hospital.  Shortly afterward, I ran – freely, in the strength of renewed limbs. All evidence of this experience virtually shouted, “Supernatural”. 

As for Sister Opaline.

Courage, stamina, her Giving-switch ever at the ON position. These were marks not of a merely good person – tough, resilient, resolute. Opaline’s life itself radiated the Supernatural. Messages of grace and of joy and love sounded out most powerfully from the platform of her limpings.

I’m sometimes prone to daydreaming. A favorite visual feels plausible.

The place is a court room.

A shabby figure named “Mortality” is presenting an argument – a case for fatalism – for  futility, death.

“It is the end of the line for her!,” Mortality roars. “No rescue or miracle or hope.” It is over for her, this Opaline mortal,” he sneers. And Mortality drivels on.

Suddenly a thunder-clap shakes the room. The court’s great doors heave open. A second figure – “Immortality” – steps through. Vital, brilliant, pulsing with life. Immortality then heralds the most prominent figure of all – the KING. “Behold, His Majesty!”

In the king’s hand is a bouquet of flowers – alive with color and fragrance. An orchestra breaks forth in music seldom heard on earth. His eyes survey the courtroom-turned-Ballroom.

A lame, slight-of-build daughter comes into view, her eyes fixed on him – adoring, worshipful. 

The King smiles widely. He laughs aloud, bows and puts forward his hand.

Opaline leaps, rushes forward, running like the wind. 

They dance.

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”     – Philippians 1:20    

©2015 Jerry Lout  

 

In his pre-college years Jerry Lout schooled at Wilson Elementary, Preston High and O.S.U. Okmulgee. He writes memoir and reflections on living. Jerry authored “Living With A Limp”, from which this piece is taken (Amazon.com). Additional narratives are published at www.jerrylout.com. He may be reached at jerrylout@gmail.com

 

 

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