A Bigger Dream

19148941_106551319962847_5747451843208260486_n     I gave the lone piano bench out on the stage a weary look. Can I really go through with this? My heart beat like a drum in my head as I stared at the crowd of people. Calm down. I took a deep breath and exhaled.  See you’re fine. You can do this.      

    The announcer walked on stage with a professional smile. He began to talk but my thoughts were elsewhere and his words escaped me.

   As I stood in the wing I glanced down at my attire. It looks all wrong! I should have worn the black dress instead of the flowered one, it would have looked more…more proper. And those shoes Susan! Pink? What were you thinking? Annoyed, I ran my fingers through my frizzy blond hair to smooth its tangles. My attempt was in vain as it became frizzier. This is so annoying! Why couldn’t my hair either be pretty ringlet curls or plain straight instead of frizzy? And…

    “I would now like to introduce our special performer for tonight, ladies and gentleman let’s give it up for Susan Philips!” The announcer gestured towards the wings.

    Oh. I straightened and took a deep breath. I walked onto the stage. Wow, there are a lot of people.

    I sat down at the elegant piano and spread out my sheet music. I concentrated on the silence, willing my brain to focus. Here it goes. I plunged into the song, I traveled to my own little world where only I and the music existed.

   The final notes of my song faded away, echoing off the walls. Wow, I am done? That was quick. I rose from the piano bench. A warm smile came to my face and I bowed low to the audience as they applauded. Is this for real? Is God making my dream of becoming a famous pianist happen? Yes?!

    Susan, you are staring at them. Move your feet! Standing on stage I bowed with a jerk to the crowd and then scurried off towards the wing. Great, now you have done it! I frowned. Staring at everyone with your mouth wide open, how embarrassing! What must they think of me?

    There in the wing was my sweet husband, Dick, his clapping increased as I walked towards him.  

    Oh he looks soooo handsome tonight! His face wore a giant dimpled smile, his blue-green eyes sparkled, and his curly brown hair shone in the light.

    “You were amazing, honey!” Dick exclaimed, as he twirled me around in his arms.

    Oh I love this man! I smiled up at him, then faked a bow.

    “Thank you, thank you,” I lifted my chin. “I shall give you my autograph, then I must be off because my husband shall be waiting for me!” Did I just make a joke? Dick must be rubbing off on me.

    Dick poked my side with a twinkle in his eye.“Well, I must leave too, my beautiful wife just had a magnificent performance and I have to go and give her a kiss!” Then he spun around with a start and began to walk away.

    I watched in astonishment, as he took five big steps, giving no indication that he was going to return. He is impossible. I made a grab for him, then pulled him to me for a kiss which he didn’t seem to mind.

    “Hmmm,” Dick chuckled as he pulled away, “Maybe I should do that more often, if I always receive a kiss!”

    I rolled my eyes at him. “You,” I uttered, “are soooo….”

    “Wonderful?” Dick interrupted with a raised eyebrow.

     “No I was going for a different word, like impossible or full of it or…”

    “Yeah but you like it!” Dick cheered and smiled at me.“So where would you like to go out to celebrate?” He asked, pulling my hand in the crook of his arm.

     “Oh…how about Happy Garden, that sounds yummy!”

    Dick bowed with a big flourish. “Your wish is my command, off we go to Happy Garden, where the food is yummy!”

    Once again I rolled my eyes at him. How in the world did I marry this amusing man?

    “I need to grab my things and greet some people though. Can I just meet you there while you go ahead and save us a table?”  

      Dick answered with a nod, pressed a quick kiss to my cheek, gave me a salute and raced out the door. I shook my head at him and grinned. Life is good.

    To my surprise many people came up to greet and congratulate me. I was flattered as I shook each person’s hand. “Thank you so much for coming!” I said glancing at my watch. I hope that this doesn’t take to much longer, I don’t want to keep Dick waiting.       

     At last I was able to leave the theater.  I ran out to my car in the parking lot, got in and pressed play on my CD player.  I sang along with the music as I drove.     

    I turned onto the next street. “Ahhhh! What are they doing?!” Another car was in my lane, traveling the wrong way towards me!  I froze. Is this where I die? Then everything went black.

*

    My eyesight was foggy when I attempted to open my eyes. Am I in a hospital room? Wait, I am alive? How? Ouch what was that? My whole body felt bruised and my head pounded.   

    As I tried to look around I became aware of a bent head on my bedside and a large hand clasping mine. Dick. My mouth felt dry but I urged myself to speak. “Dick,” I croaked.

    His head came up in a second with silent tears streaking down his face. “Oh Susan,” Dick cried, “I have been so worried…I thought…that you were…”

     Through the doorway a doctor and nurse made a quick entrance. They both halted in their tracks when they saw me awake. What? I stared.

    Are they just going to stand there or…The doctor came to my bedside and began checking monitors and making notes.

      “Doctor Barns,” Dick spoke up, “Sorry that I didn’t inform you that she was awake, she just came out of it…”

    The doctor held up a swift hand for Dick to stop talking and turned his eyes to me.       

    “You, Mrs. Philips,” the doctor expressed, “are one lucky lady. You had a head on collision with another car last night. You were diagnosed with some broken bones, nerve damage in your hands and perhaps brain damage. You have been unconscious for sixteen hours. To tell you the truth you should have died in that car accident; we had concluded that there was only a 10% chance of you surviving, there was no hope. ”

    Oh. Silence came over the room, I trembled. Thank you Lord, thank you Lord, I kept repeating that phrase in my mind over and over again.

    Dick pressed a kiss to my hand as we both wept. “God was watching out for us Susan,” He whispered.

    The doctor took a deep breath, “And now…there is no evidence of you having any brain damage whatsoever.” He looked at both of us, opened his mouth but then turned around and trudged towards the door,

    “Doctor,” I called.

    He glanced back at us, waiting for me to speak.

    “There is nothing lucky about it, God was watching out for me, and He graciously chose that it wasn’t my time to go home. He accomplished a huge miracle and maybe…just maybe it’s to show the world that He does exist.”

    Doctor Barns brushed a nervous hand through his hair, breathing heavy. “God must indeed exist and He must have big plans for your life.” Then he turned and walked away.

     I glanced over at Dick and caught him staring at me. What is he thinking? “What?”

    “You don’t look so good.”

    Why thank you, thank you very much! Men! “I was just in a car accident and that’s all you can think of to say to me?” I gestured to myself, beyond irritated.

    Dick threw back his head and burst out laughing. I gawked at him. How can you just laugh? He laughed for what seemed like an eternity.

    “You see,” Dick exclaimed, out of breath. “I was only trying to lighten up the atmosphere, but you took offense. I was only teasing, I thought that you would catch on.”

    “Well be careful because next time I may not think that it’s funny, at all.” I tried to keep a straight face. I barely pulled it off.

    “Yes ma’am.” Unlike me he couldn’t restrain a smile.

    I smiled back at him.

    “Honey you should probably get some sleep, you will probably be getting some visitors later.” He brushed a kiss on my head, squeezed my hand and took an extra blanket off my bed.

     I watched him squirm into a comfortable position on the chair beside my bed, cover himself with the blanket and close his eyes.

    I laid my head back against the pillows and tried to relax with all the tubes and gadgets stuck to me. I stared up at the ceiling, thinking. The doctor had said that I had nerve damage in my hands. How much though? Can I still play the piano? Somehow I knew the answer and it hurt. It hurt my dreams.

    “Dick?”

    “Yeah?” He replied in a sleepy voice.

    “This nerve damage on my hands…it is so severe that I won’t be able to play the piano again.” It was a statement not a question.

    Dick’s eyes popped open and he gave me a pained look. “Yeah honey, you can’t play the piano anymore. I’m sorry.”

    God I don’t understand but I will try. I nodded in his direction and put on a brave smile. “God knows more than I do and He has a plan for everything. I just have to trust Him.”

    “Yeah, and who knows.” Dick said.“Maybe God will plant a new dream inside you.”

    Maybe.“I did enjoy talking to the doctor. I felt moved by the Holy Spirit to speak and it seemed like He put just the right words into my mouth.”

    “See,” Dick pressed half awake, “God has already planted a new dream inside you. A dream that far outweighs your expectations, a dream that touches other people in ways that go beyond you, a better dream.”     

    I marveled at the wisdom of his words, knowing in my heart that they were true. Yes, God has planted a new dream inside me, the dream to speak!

    “Thank you Dick.” His only reply was a loud snore.

    I sighed, welcoming sleep.  A bigger dream…   

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