Thursday, July 03, 2008

Enlightenment in the ED

I took Hewitt into the emergency department this afternoon because of an increase of seizures. On a typical visit to the ED, I sit in the waiting room, looking around me at the sick kids, wishing that I was there because Hewitt was sick, or broke something, or had any number of ailments that come and go in childhood. I sit there feeling sorry for him and sad for us that our lives now include a "chronic medical condition." I look at those parents and I think if they only knew how fortunate they were that it's only rota virus...(bear with me, I am learning). As I sat there today I watched a woman come in with a stroller. Her little girls feet were hanging out the end and I could see her cute little shoes and leggings. The rest of the stroller was covered by a blanket because the girl was sleeping. I sat and watched and wondered why they were there. Eventually I went back to my pity party on the couch with Hewitt. The next time I looked over the blanket was off of the stroller and the little girl was looking at us. She might have been 2 or 3, but I don't know for sure. Her sweet little face was obviously disfigured, with droopy eyes and her head shape was not that of a typical little girl. At that moment, when I saw her sad eyes and misshapen head I was overcome with shame. Who am I to look at these people and think that my pain is any more significant than theirs? I would never had said that aloud, but that is exactly what I was doing. Have you ever had one of those movie like moments where you imagine yourself standing in the middle of a freeway and all the cars are flying by you and you can't see any one's faces...but then suddenly things go into slow motion and you begin to see people's faces and realize you aren't alone and that although life is whirring by in the midst of everything we are constantly surrounded by people dealing with their own problems, trials, victories, etc. This was one of those moments. And, while I have seen these people before, I have never felt their pain. And though life continues to whir by me, I feel like my eyes have been opened to something I've never seen before. There is a whole world of parents and families out there dealing with loss. Parents that are stricken with fear, pain, bitterness, anger and sadness. Parents who did not get the child they hoped for, or had that child taken by some illness or accident. These parents need support. They need love and they need hope. I have access to that hope. The hope that will change their lives if they let it. So, now I am asking myself what I am going to do with all of this pain, bitterness, anger and sadness in my own life. How am I going to translate it into something tangible that can glorify God and draw His hurting children to Him?

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