Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not be shaken. - Psalm 16:8Six months is not that long. But the six months separating us from one of our darkest days seems like an eternity.
Maybe it's because we don't remember much that happened before August 3 last year. We talked the other day about how when we recall events these days, we talk of them in terms of whether they happened B.C. (Before Copperhead) or A.D. (After its Death).
Or maybe its because we're desperate to put it behind us.
Thankfully, Levi already has. He's quick to show us his "snake finger" when it's time for physical therapy. He knows where he was bitten, and he knows he got his stuffed lion "Roardie" from the hospital. He still guards his hand instinctively when we drive near any of his doctor's offices or the hospital. But when pushed for more information, he doesn't seem to remember anything else about that awful day, about the pain or the panic. I take a lot of comfort in that.
Today, all he has is an ugly fang scar on his index finger to show for the whole ordeal. His physical therapist (now a dearer friend than she ever was) says his healing and mobility look great. In summary: he's fine.
I still get upset when I think too much about all that he went through. I still get mad and play the "what if" game when I think about that stupid snake and the moments leading up to the bite. I still cry when I look at the pictures.
I've thought a lot lately about the passage in John 9 where Jesus' disciples question him about a man born blind.
"Who sinned," these followers and close friends of Jesus asked him, "this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Jesus answer is perfect, as always. "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents," he explains, "but that the works of God might be displayed in him." (John 9:2-3)
I'm not going to claim to be any sort of expert on why bad stuff happens. Theologians more learned than myself have debated and studied that for years. I'll leave it to them to explain.
What I know is this. Levi's injury was no accident. I don't blame God for causing it, and I don't curse God for not preventing it.
But God, in His sovereignty, certainly used it "that the works of God might be displayed in him." We saw healing miracles. We saw the power of prayer. We felt the comfort of the Holy Spirit. We felt the body of Christ holding us up by prayers and petitions and presence.
When we first arrived in the PICU on that awful night, we were assigned a nurse who hummed familiar hymns as she worked on our son. She gave us hope without speaking a word.
...the works of God displayed.
Later she got a smile out of Levi. It was the middle of the night, and he was in tremendous pain. And yet, for a moment, he smiled. And there was that hope, bubbling up to the surface again.
...the works of God displayed.
Our church family, our friends, people literally around the world prayed for healing. Some heard the gospel for the first time.
...the works of God displayed.
Do I wish it had never happened? Of course. Of course I wish my son had never had to suffer like that. But when all the control is stripped from you and you fear for the worst, you have to lean on something. We leaned on our Savior. We leaned into the One who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us. And I wouldn't trade those moments for anything.
Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. - Psalm 40:5
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Meet Mr. Leggett.
His story started long before our little snake charmer was born when his granddaughter, Felicity, was diagnosed with a brain tumor nearly four years ago. One day while he was visiting the hospital with his son, they noticed a woman struggling to get a wagon and her child's medical equipment onto an elevator. Working alongside his son Chad, he developed a bracket that could be permanently installed on the hospital's wagons to hold IV poles and make life a little easier for patients and parents. When Mr. Leggett's son tragically passed away, the bracket was named for him, and two years of brainstorming and design and development later, the first Chad's Bracket was installed.
When he saw the story of Abby's wagon donation, Mr. Leggett reached out to us with a simple offer. Inspired by her kindness, he wanted to do something special for her and offered to install IV poles on her wagons.
And this morning, she got to help. We met the Leggetts in the hospital lobby, helped them deliver some wagon donations they were dropping off, then headed outside to install brackets and IV poles on Abby's wagons.
Today, with the addition of four Chad's Brackets on wagons now labeled Abby 1, Abby 2, Abby 3, and Abby 4, there are 73 of these wagons at this hospital alone, and quite a few more at other area hospitals. Mr. Leggett explained that numerous individuals and civic organizations have donated wagons with the brackets and poles attached as well. And yes, there are some with his granddaughter's name on them.
And so from so much heartache--in the midst of cancer and loss and stupid snakes--came something wonderful. A gift, it seems, that just keeps on giving, and that will continue to do so for as long as those little red wagons roll down the hallways of that hospital.
And we're grateful to be a part of it.
Interested in doing something about it? I'd love to put you in touch with Mr. Leggett about how you can help kids like Felicity and Levi and so many others that find themselves stuck in the hospital. Each complete wagon (with bracket and IV pole) costs $250, and every donation helps!
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"I don't like this snake," he explained, pointing to the maze in his workbook, "so I'm just going to color it to death."
I heartily approve.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Even when he's quiet (which is very, very rarely) his mind is at work, imagining, creating, designing, dreaming.
If I were to label my brood, Caleb would be the creative one.
But at the moment, he might disagree with me.
At the moment, he is a fighter pilot like Papa and Grandaddy, and this is the jet that will take him to far off places.
But he promises to be home in time for lunch.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
I'm glad she let me peek at this.* And I'm thankful for a little girl who can find the good in a bad situation.
Can you think of a time that you or your family had a hard time and God worked out everything for good?
Abby's answer:*shared with her permission
"Levi got bitten by a snake and we had a hard time and the wagons there helped him so we took wagons to the hospitel so the kids there would feel better."
Friday, January 23, 2015
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Even if the sun is setting and we still need jackets.
These children were made to be outside. Spring can't come soon enough.