Friday, May 31, 2013

A lesson from Miss Jessica

I'll admit it: I'm spoiled.  Like a little child who panics when they can not see their father and runs around frantic until they find him and are assured of his presence, so do I.  But like any good father who will assure their children he will not leave him, so does my Father.  I cling to Him, panicked and lacking faith, asking why He left me.  Of course He never left in the first place, He was just giving me some room to see what I would do, to allow growth.  But I am too small for room, I need constant re-assurance, I need my little hand in His big one lest I doubt.  I can run off for an instant but lacking faith I must constantly come back to make sure He remains, just as a little toddler who is just having her first independence in the safety of her back yard.

And in my Father's goodness, He allows me to remain in this state of toddler-hood, just barely able to walk.  He lets me go, never allowing me out of His sight, but when I am panicked and searching for His face, He races back to show Himself.  So He did yesterday.  After writing about my repulsion and subsequent shame, my panic, my dizziness with doubts and questions, He set up a very special meeting yesterday.  We were privileged to meet Miss Jessica.

Miss Jessica sat in her wheelchair, arms and legs still like stone, her body small and undeveloped from decades of non-use.  Her head supported, giving room for her trach and vent tubing to wind behind her chair.  I walked past her and she lamented about how unfair it was that I had a pager like she did.  He mother patiently explained everyone waiting for the doctor gets one and it is not unfair.  I turned, swallowed hard, and spoke to her.  I told her my name, she told me hers, then I told her I had a son just like her with a trach and a vent at night.  With an adult body and a blessed child's mind she squeeled in excitement.  I brought Dominic face to face, or should I say wheel to wheel, with her and her oohs and ahh's commenced.  She poured over his blue eyes, his blond hair, his little trach and tiny chair.  She was full of delight to learn that his vent is exactly the same as hers.  Then the older kids reluctantly came over, face downcast with eyes shyly staring at our new friend.  I introduced Miss Jessica to them and she went on and on about how handsome the boys were and how sweet and precious Mary is.  Mary whispered Miss Jessica was too small to be a "ba-dult" and I explained she is just like Dominic, only 40 years older.

We sat and talked for quite some time, taking turns between her delightful forced speech (talking with a trach and vent is difficult and laborsome) and the experienced, tired but happy eyes of her mother.  She lives at home with her mother and father and sleeps in their room.  She excitedly told me about her nieces and nephews and it was apparent she gained much happiness from her siblings who had grown and moved out, having families of their own.  She stopped, needing a drink and her mother brought the straw to her mouth.  She was unable to even do this for herself, yet she was happy.  She radiated joy, and if one were to be able to see past the exterior for one instant, one would see how easily she captivates one's heart.  I was sad to leave her when the nurse called us back, wanting to sit and be with her all day if I could.  She was sad to see Dominic go but was delighted that I wanted to take her picture.  She just couldn't believe all of the attention she was receiving.  My Miss Jessica, the face of my Father, restored my hope.

People often say they wished God would just talk to them, just tell them what to do.  He does, He just doesn't use our words, he uses His.  Yesterday Miss Jessica was His words, His embrace, His re-assurance that everything would be okay, that He is near, He is faithful, He will never abandon us.  With Him is safety, joy, protection.  Though we might fear we will drown from the torrent that falls upon us, He is there, allowing us to grow in love and confidence in Him, ready to extend His sure hand to save us before we fall.  I am embarrassed for loosing hope, loosing faith so quickly, but moreover I am joyful knowing that my Father does not despise my smallness.  Just as a father may sigh at the constant need of his children, still he secretly glories over the fact of being needed and the helplessness of his children.  If we panic, we need to only stop and do what I tell my children to do: remain calm and look around, I am never far off.
Sweet Miss Jessica and her buddy, Dominic

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