I can’t remember ever feeling sane. If I try to imagine sensible days, I see flashes of 8mm film. There are kids running under sprinklers and babies taking their first steps, then someone smiles and blows out all the birthday candles. All goes dark.
I open my eyes hearing the movie film slapping itself with its tail and scream out loud. Slamming my brakes, the world spins beyond the windshield. That same world I’m unable to navigate, for once , looks just like I feel.
Stiff armed and legs locked, moments later I’m facing from whence I came. The following quiet is unnatural; no motor, no sirens, no bystanders…nothing. I’m on a road in the middle of nowhere. Just to test my hearing, I start whistling. Give my ears a tug too, just to see if I am alive. How else could I tell? Numbness had taken over years ago.
My headlights illuminate a tunnel.
“Oh, didn’t I mention it’s the middle of the night?”
The most pleasant voice I could ever imagine answers. “It doesn’t matter. I don’t race to conclusions like the others. Go on…”
I crack open the car door and the dome light comes on. In the rearview mirror, I notice my hat hasn’t lost its place in the chaos. Good old hat. It comforts me like my grandmother’s hand on my head when I was a child.
I normally shy away from dark places but this tunnel compels me toward it. As I enter, I can make out a light at the end. It beckons me. There’s nothing complex about a choice between darkness and light.
The tunnel narrows quickly until I feel squeezed. With no option of escape, I fold my arms and release myself from all trepidation. Weightlessness… this must be how pure joy feels.
“Rachel? Wake up…can you hear me?” The OR nurse taps the bottom of my feet. She speaks in a soft singsong voice. “The operation was a success, dear. No more brain tumor.”
Then, that most pleasant voice I could ever imagine whispers…
“I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.” (Jeremiah 29:11)