We should have named her Ariel. Madison is a fish. Born in Florida, raised in the pool, she is at home in the water. At the age of 3, I removed her floating aid and decided that I was going to teach her to swim. She pushed away from me and took off kicking through the water. No one ever told her that was something she was supposed to learn. It goes to reason that she is now on the swim team. An amazing swim program with amazing facilities.
Last night, I sat with her Daddy at swim practice. At the far end of the olympic pool, there is a high dive. Occasionally, the coaches let the younger kids wander over to the massive giant and take the leap. First timers take the ladder with shaking knees, climb to the top, take a look over the edge, and then almost always climb back down to safety. After a few times of this march, they eventually push their nerve over the end, screaming the whole way down.
Last night, a lone girl stood with her coach beside the skyscraper high dive. She climbed the ladder with confidence. She grabbed our attention. We fixed our gaze as she walked to the end and stopped. Time paused. Slowly, she bent at a 90 degree angle. Arms stretched out straight to her side. Balance gained, she lifted her toes. Paused. Fixed. If there had been a slight breeze from behind, she would have tipped over the side, but she stood. She stood in strength and she stood in confidence.
The leap of faith. The lighting of the torch. The bullet ignited. It was so graceful, I wanted to stand. She slowly tipped over the side, soaring through the air with the most captivating beauty and grace. A perfect swan dive. The beauty was in the falling, not in the safety of returning to the pool.
Life is scary. We climb life hurdles with our knees knocking, scared to death. The diving boards are such huge scary monsters that we do our best to avoid. And then we have no option, we kick and scream and we don’t want to, but we are forced over the edge. Jesus is the Diving Team. He is the best facility available. He is the coach that never takes his eyes away. Once you have done it, there is nothing to fear. Fall into his mercy. Fall into his grace. Fall in to his loving arms with resolute confidence. Cancer is one graceful swan dive.
Once you have taken the plunge, the standard diving board, Nothing. I jump right off that thing like it never existed. Once I have, literally, fallen on my knees and prayed for the health of my three month old, financial problems don’t make me blink. Once I have been covered with scars and swelling, the popularity club doesn’t seem worth my time. Loss of a job. Transfer of schools. Social drama. Political upheaval. Dreams crushed. Swan dive in to the arms of my Jesus.
I have the faith of cancer.