Wednesday, August 4, 2010

One Year Later

Last Thursday Mark and I, and our friends, Donald and Gretchen, decided to visit Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica. We put on our tennis shoes and sun screen, packed up our backpacks with water and cameras, and left the hotel around 10:00 a.m.  We climbed over the rocky shore to get to the beach, hiked for twenty minutes on the beach, crossed over the main road, then hiked a mile down the road. It was hot and it was humid. We were all sweating through our clothes. We arrived at the national park to find the gate closed. They only allow a certain number of people in the park at any given time. So, we waited for about twenty minutes until the gatekeeper determined that we could enter. Did I mention that it felt like we were in a sauna? We entered the park and hiked for about a mile and a half, up hill and downhill, until we made it to the end of the trail at the beach.  We were supposed to be enjoying the flora and fauna of Costa Rica, but I think by this point we were all pretty miserable. We plopped down on a log on the beach and stared at the ocean. 

Not long after we arrived at this spot the trees began to rustle. Suddenly a whole tribe of white-faced Capuchin Monkeys arrived on the beach! It was amazing to watch them swinging through the trees with such agility! They were playing with each other, chasing and wrestling. They searched for fruit and insects in the trees; and then they quickly started scavenging for food among the clothes and bags they found on the beach. We watched them steal a bag of potato chips and a container of yogurt and scamper to the safety of a high branch to enjoy their snack. They weren't afraid at all, coming close enough for me to touch their tails! Our agonizing hike was worth it to see these fun creatures!

Later, as we hiked out of the park, it began to rain. A soft rain, just enough to cool us off. As we walked, it hit me that a year earlier I had been just finishing up my radiation treatments and oral chemotherapy. And now I was healthy and strong enough to go on this adventure. The tears came easily and joined the rain to water the earth. I experienced that deep gratitude that seems to be a constant companion of mine now. Gratitude for life, for health, for for the beauty and goodness of God. 

These lyrics have been playing in my head ever since that day:

"Open up the sky, fall down like rain
We don't want blessings, we want You
Open up the sky, fall down like fire
We don't want anything but You

Our beloved Jesus, we just want to see You 
in the glory of your light
Earthly things don't matter, they just fade and shatter
when we're touched by love divine

We won't be satisfied with anything ordinary
We won't be satisfied at all

Here we go, let's go to the throne
the place that we belong
Right into His arms"

(Open up the Sky by Deluge)


  1. Love love 'Open Up the Sky!" It's one of my favorites right now!!!

  2. Wow reading your post today was eerie, at service Saturday, they sang that song and a rush of emotion, hope, and fulfillment came over me. I can't fully explain it but it was like his sign to me that I'm walking in the right direction.

  3. What a beautiful picture of the Lord's favor! I'm so thankful that He brought healing to your physical body and in so many other ways enriched your life (and ours) as well!