I love going to the Metropolitan Opera. Not only have I had subscriptions, but I would often go and pick up a ticket from a patron outside minutes before a performance. Several years ago I went to see the new production of Carlisle Floyd’s, Susannah, starring Renee Flemming, winner of your pastor’s Diva of the year award. All I could get was a ticket in Family Circle (the nose bleed section). I was way up there. Soon I noticed an older women and three younger men coming my way. They were to take the seats next to me. One thing about the Met. The higher up you sit, the less formal it is. People share binoculars and idle chat. It is where I like to say the real fans sit.
I soon learned that this woman was with her three sons who were on a holiday from Australia. No husband was there, just mom and her boys making a trip to the U.S. The boys had left their wives and children behind too. You see, mom was dying I found out. In fact she should have died months before, but for some reason she was feeling a little better though her cancer was not at all in remission it was explained. It didn’t take me long to realize that this was the last hurrah–the last big party for mom and her three adoring sons. And they were adoring. In a few short minutes I got involved with their story.
I assured her that tonight she would be hearing the best… and she did. I got totally caught up in the aura of love that was so overwhelming.
When the Opera was over, I did not want to leave this magnetic foursome. I don’t remember their names, but I remember the hug mom gave me and the gentle reassuring way she said good-bye. The inner storm within me that was fast approaching earthquake proportions as I .focused on the agony of that family, was immediately quieted by the still small voice of a woman dying of cancer whispering great affection, “good-bye” in my ear. That Still Small Voice that may have just said, “good-bye”–but it also said–don’t worry, God is with me, God is with you. Love is eternal…
Death is swallowed up in Victory
O Death where is thy Victory
O Death where is thy sting…