Here I sit typing this blog entry in a contorted attempt to deal with my devastated heart. My ten year old son lies in a hospital bed in the intensive care unit of Gillette Children's hospital because of a very hopeful surgery having gone so terribly wrong. In what was to have been the final installment in a series of surgeries to enable Seth to walk as well as everyone else, instead it looks as though all ability to walk has been robbed from him.
The surgeon has no idea what went wrong. The surgery went perfect, he says. Everything was ideal. Yet, for some totally terrible reason unknown to anyone but God, feeling has not returned to his legs as it should have a few hours after surgery. It is now going on 72 hours without any feeling returning, and the surgeon is now speaking the unspeakable, that we should begin treating this as a permanent condition. Instead of a spinal cord correction, we now are dealing with a spinal cord "injury."
Oh the flood of feelings right now. Do I claim a strong faith that God will intervene and restore feeling to Seth's legs, that the doctors are wrong in their assessments? I've pounded the wall of the shower as my tears ran down with the water, crying out to God, "No! No! No!" Is this denial of the inevitable, or a plea that God hears and answers. A bruised reed God will not break, Isaiah says. What about a bruised ten year boy whose only mistake was to trust that his parents and doctors were doing something good for him?
I am overwhelmed with grief, grief for my son, for my wife, for myself. Yet, do I dare believe the miraculous can happen? I believe God can, but do I dare believe God will actually do something amazing here. Obviously, I desperately want God to give my son feeling in his legs and the ability to walk again. I don't know what to hope for, what to claim in faith for my son. Is what I want something God will honor, or must I again submit to the mystery of God's will? Perhaps the best I can do is humbly submit to what God wants, but at least approach God with open hands ready to receive a desperately desired gift.
I know God will do something marvelous - ultimately! I know that somehow out of this will come great glory for God. Of these things I am sure. But how and in what way I don't know. Right now, all I know is that my little boy is hurt real bad, and that he trusted me for the best when he went into this surgery. Right now, all I know is that I can only cry out to God in anguish, as so many other parents have in similar situations. All those "Bible stories" about fathers and mothers coming to Jesus and crying out to Him to heal their children are so much more than interesting lessons with nuanced meanings in Greek and Aramaic. They are raw human reality slashing through my heart like a double-edged sword. They are the fire of the Holy Spirit searing my innermost soul. I too come to Jesus in sheer desperation and cast myself down at His feet to plead for my son to rise up and walk.
God have mercy. Christ have mercy. God have mercy on my little boy!