Joy-Flower

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Exhausted as he entered the small, dimly lit bedroom, Yao Lin-On carried the white capsule he had made like it was a knife. “This will end my daughter’s suffering,” was his only thought as he approached her bed. “I cannot . . . I cannot take this any longer. I won’t.”
He had witnessed the terminal suffering of one of his nieces from the same slowly-disabling, flesh-wasting illness several years in the past. Those images of her intense suffering had never left his memory, and he was determined not to let his precious Le-Lan walk the same agonizing path.
“I will pull it apart and empty the powders into her tea. She will be finally free from her torture. Perhaps tonight I will make another . . . for freedom.” He wept once again as he looked at her small, sleeping form. “At least she seems to have no pain when she is in deep sleep, but when she wakes, the medication is terribly insufficient . . . How can I let this continue? I, the one she has trusted, the one who brought her to this new country, to these new beliefs, to this new Father God and Jesus. I, who daily shared Biblical teachings with her, and worked to make sure that she understood Your Word, absent God.”
“I, the one who cared for her after the loss of her mother. I, who love her dearly. I, the only one left to do what You, God, won’t do. Yes, I have pleaded in my prayers, I have begged, I have asked politely, I have screamed, I have enjoined and bargained. All to no benefit for Le-Lan. Where is her healing? Where are the promises? Where, at the last, is merciful death? My faith aches. It is sore and tired! It groans, Father God.”
“It must be that, now, at the end of my sanity, it is left to me to condemn myself to hell for her sake. Is that what You want? I retain my faith in You! Why are You leaving the task to me, Lord?”

He sat in the hard wooden chair next to the unconscious girl’s bed, laid the large, white capsule on the nightstand next to her small, full, teacup in its saucer, and took her hand gently, as not to wake her. Her fingertips were black. He moaned aloud as he looked at her once-beautiful head of hair, now in ragged patches; at her missing teeth, where her room-brightening smile had been. “I cannot let her suffering be. I can’t let my little Joy-Flower wither away in pain. In a moment, little one, in just a few more moments, my joy, I will wake you and give you your tea. How will I live without you? How can I?”
“So hard this seat, so heavy my arms, so achingly tired my soul . . . My soul, . . . my . . .”

He felt her hand stir, her patchy breathing quickening. Her eyes opened slowly. They were still the same, filled with beauty and love as they always had been.
“Papa? Papa, I’m glad. . . , I’m glad you are here,” she whispered very slowly in English, the difficult language that, together, they had worked so hard to learn.
“Yes, I’m always here for you, sweet child. Be still, Flower, everything is, what is that funny word? . . . Okay.”
“Papa, lean closer . . . please listen, even if this . . . is hard to understand. I have been talking to Jesus. I have! He has been . . . with me . . . all through my illness. When it hurts so bad, Papa, . . . He puts His cool hand on my head. He holds my hand . . . while you hold the other. Papa, He sings to me while you cry. He tells me that you might . . . lose your faith in Him . . . because of me. Oh, Papa! I don’t want that! You must trust Him. Remember all the amazing things we learned . . . about Him? They are all true, Papa!”
“I know they are, sweetheart, shhhh, don’t tire yourself.” He looked away and thought, “Maybe they are true, but He still has some things to answer for . . .”

“Papa . . . . . . . . .” she paused, “I know what you want to do tonight . . . I saw it “
Yao Lin-On’s body jumped, startled, rattling the hard chair.
“There is nothing I can do . . . to stop you, but I want you to change your mind. Father . . . is watching and our misled people . . . are judging. Poppy please, . . . don’t do it. If you love me, do not.”
He stared at her face – his own quite flushed. “How could she know?” His anger flared. “You know nothing of it,” he wanted to say.
“Poppy, listen,” she whispered faintly, but urgently, “If you do this thing . . . that you think will help me, you will tear us apart . . . forever. You will condemn yourself. If you do it, we will be apart . . . forever. Poppy, it would break my heart if Mama and I . . . were without you. We love you so much, and so do Jesus . . . and the Father.” Please don’t, . . . Poppy, please.”
“Poppy” was her most loving name for him.
Mountain brooks of tears ran down his face.

“We do love you, Yao Lin-On, father of our delightful Le-Lan. We share your concern for her. We are also very concerned for you. We hear your prayers for healing and for a miracle. What you don’t realize is that what you keep praying for, We have already done. Le-Lan’s body lingers in your world, but her LIFE has been with Us since the moment she believed in her Savior. That is her miracle.
She hangs on because she knows her story is not finished, mostly where you are concerned, but also with others who are watching her. The enemy is certain you both will renounce us and give the many who look to you reason to deny us as folly.
Have you not noticed that through all her trials, she never once lost faith? Haven’t you seen that she always proclaims Our kingdom with her body and her spirit, no matter how hard her path? We did not choose this suffering for her, it greives us sorely, but she has walked with Us and she knows that our grace is enough. She trusts Us for her mercy. She knows much about her purpose, which, even now, brings us glory through her young faith.
Through your own diligence, she learned that in order to awaken to a new life, a person has to die in the old one. Le-Lan knew that she had to die to her self, in order to live in Christ Jesus on earth, and now she must sleep the last sleep, which you call death, in order to live in Heaven with Us. She will follow her own path into that sleep, her last thought on earth will be of Us, and she will awaken fully alive in Our arms. Your part is to wait and watch over her sleep. Be steadfast, Yao Lin-On, as your most precious child’s love is steadfast. Only wait and keep faith; keep purpose until your own last thought, in your own last sleep. We hope that last thought is only of Us, and that you will follow beautiful Le-Lan into Our waiting arms.”

Yao Lin-On blinked hard and shook his head as he came back to himself. He looked at his little Le-Lan. She was still asleep.
“How long have I been . . . away? Was it a dream? A miracle? Was that only an inner conversation with myself? Or was it You, my Father in Heaven? . . . Did she whisper to me? . . . Did You?”
He thought and pondered about everything he had seen and heard – it seemed so . . . real! He stared at the euthanasia capsule for a long while, shuddered, took it away, and flushed it down the toilet. Returning to Le-Lan, he found that she was breathing more steadily and beginning to awaken. He felt her hand stir, her patchy breathing quickening. Her eyes opened slowly. They were still the same, filled with beauty and love as they always had been.
“I thought you were the frail one, my Flower, . . . but you are my rock”, he said softly! Then, a verse came to him. “My power is at its best in your weakness.” With emotions boiling over, he took her frail body into his arms.
“I brought your favorite rose-ginger tea, Joy-Flower, can you drink some? Do you feel a little better, this morning?”
” Thank you, I will try, but no, Papa, I . . . feel worse . . . today. My . . . stomach hurts . . . so bad.”
He bit his own lip hard to drive back the tears.
“But . . . I sure do love you, Poppy, I surely do love you!” she whispered slowly and softly into his ear. Her tender hug whispering her love as well.
“I love you right back, my Joy-Flower, my gift from Heaven,” his cheek against hers.

He had a sense of calm peace as he kissed her forehead, then, for far too many subsequent days, he knew that those were the last words he would hear on earth from Le-Lan. She, at last, slept her final sleep. Grief bit deep, yet, he was confident in proclaiming that her last words of love were the first words he would hear from her, and her mother, in Heaven.
And proclaim the glory of God, he did, until the end of his long days, even though, many times, he asked, “How long, Father?” In public, he repeated the words of his daughter and told of her relationship with Jesus at every opportunity. He told their story with sincerity and passion.
In the community of his new country, as well as in the old, what was nearly the end of his faith was but the beginning of a powerful ministry – his given purpose – which severely turned to ashes the enemy’s dour plans for many souls.
It shouldn’t have surprised him, but it did, how many others were amazed, and changed, and brought into their own faith in Jesus, after watching the devotion of the steadfast man of God, Yao Lin-On, and his lovely daughter of God, Yao Le-Lan, Joy-Flower.

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© Copyright by Gloryteller,
Len Snider
 11-04-2014 and 08-18-2018
All rights reserved
The names of my two main human characters
are fictitious (as far as I know)

 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. estherjoy
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 11:31:23

    I wept when I read this. I think when we are hurting so badly only Jesus’ presence really gives comfort. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing this story.

    Reply

    • Gloryteller
      Mar 11, 2015 @ 20:41:45

      I wept when I wrote it, Esther. It takes that kind of emotional involvement to connect a writer and a reader. Thank you so much for liking this piece, for your gracious comment, and thank you for reading and connecting the circle.
      Yes, the presence of Jesus is central to this, and every, story.

  2. babaji301
    Jun 22, 2015 @ 23:53:50

    “Beautful, Gloryteller, thank you for thinking, writing and sharing this special story.”

    Reply

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