August 6, 2014

Praying for a Miracle

Once again we find ourselves sitting in a waiting room, waiting for the results of yet another test.  The same television on the wall is showing the same talk-show host that we’ve seen a hundred times, and the same outdated magazines on the table in front of us do nothing to help the time pass more quickly.

I look tenderly at the little boy here with me – the one with the gorgeous eyelashes, the perfect complexion, and the angelic curls that always tempt me to run my fingers through them.  And I ache with compassion.  Poor little guy!  When will enough be enough?  How many more tests and probes and scopes and scans will he be required to endure?

It is obvious that there is something seriously wrong with him.  His 2nd birthday came and went a while back, and still his baby book lies unopened and unmarked, with not one milestone to proudly document.  The basket-full of toys in our home lie idle, untouched by hands that are unable to grasp them, unseen by eyes that cannot see them.  The shelves are filled with beautiful children’s books that slowly gather dust.  What would be the point of reading them to him when he can’t hear my voice?

Instead, our days are filled with appointments with professionals who specialize in almost every imaginable part of the human body.  We visit one specialist who, despite all of the latest medical technology, remains puzzled by this little one’s condition.  And so we are referred to another specialist, who remains equally mystified.  Brain scans reveal no damage.  Genetics test results are normal.  The ophthalmologist says that his retinas and optical nerves are fine, so she can’t understand why he doesn’t respond to visual stimuli.  Same with the audiologist.  What on earth is causing his development to remain completely stalled?

An army of therapists have been called in.  For almost a year now they have patiently worked with him, using all of the tools in their arsenal of experience to help him progress.  Physical therapists.  Occupational therapists.  Feeding specialists.  Hearing specialists.  Vision specialists.  Developmental therapists.  I am frequently in awe of their patience and perseverance.  Their refusal to give up.  Hundreds of hours trying to strengthen his muscles, improve his range of motion, tolerate a variety of textures, orient towards a sound or a light, learn what to do with a spoon or a toy.  And the result?  Nothing.  Not one noticeable improvement.  Is all of this effort by all of these people to no avail?  Is this how it is going to be for the rest of his life? Isn’t there any hope for this child?

As I look at this precious boy - the one with the gorgeous eyelashes, the perfect complexion, and the angelic curls that always tempt me to run my fingers through them – I am overcome with feelings of inadequacy.  I have exhausted my ability to help him, and I feel wholly unequal to the task of being his foster mother.  Without a diagnosis or a comprehensive treatment plan, what else is left to do?

And a nagging question begins to form in the recesses of my mind:  For all this time, since the day I first met this child, where have I placed my hope?  Perhaps somewhere along the way I have forgotten the purpose of my role, misplacing my focus, depending on human wisdom and technology.  There is nothing wrong with having a multitude of doctors, therapists, medical professionals, and specialists to navigate the mysteries of his disabilities.  In fact, I am thankful for their valuable education, wisdom and expertise!  Ultimately, however, there is really only one Specialist.  Only One who has all the answers.  Only One who is able to heal.

I am beginning to realize that although this little one was placed in my care, it was not so that I could be a miracle worker.  He was placed in my care so that I could learn to depend upon the One who is. 

With humility I understand that it is a great honor to be entrusted with the life of a child.  And yet it is an even greater honor to be able to entrust him to a sovereign, loving God who holds this child’s life in His hands.

I love this child passionately and completely.  Sometimes, when his sweet face is pressed close to mine, I am nearly undone.  And yet, as incredible as it is to believe, the One who created him loves him even more.

The doctors and me, our knowledge is depleted.  Our most diligent efforts have failed to make an impact.  And so I find myself holding him close, recognizing at last that there is only one option left.  I find myself doing the only thing left to do.  I am praying for a miracle.

Dear Father in heaven above, thank you for being here with us in this moment.  Thank you for creating this precious boy, forming him in the darkness of his mother’s womb, forming your great plan for his life even before he was born. 

Lord, we don’t understand what is wrong. Our understanding and knowledge and “wisdom” is so frustratingly finite.  So discouragingly limited.  We have subjected this poor child to every test known to medical science.  He has been examined by the best of doctors.  And still we have no answers.  Still the reason for his lack of progress remains hidden.

Because You are the One who created him, You know intimately how He is made.  You don’t need a genome study to see the billions of rungs that form his DNA.  There is no need for MRI for You to see his brain.  You know.

I recognize, finally, my utter dependence upon You.  And I confess that I had forgotten that.  I somehow had the misconception that his life and health depended on my abilities and competence and faithfulness.  Thank you for reminding me that You are the One who holds this child’s life in Your hands.  You are the One who is in control.  Who is able to restore him to health.

And so I am praying. 

I am praying for Your mighty hand to touch his frail body and to heal him.  Every part of him.

I am praying for You to do what I have been unable to do.  What every specialist has been unable to do.

Heavenly Father, full of grace and compassion and wisdom and strength, I am praying to you now.  I fully entrust this child to Your capable hands. I am praying that through his life, You would be honored.  That Your great plan for him would be accomplished in amazing ways.

Father, I am praying for You to intervene.  I am praying for a miracle.

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