It's The Only Way
First of all, thank you for your patience as I took a few months off from writing Elevate. I remember the Olympic runner Eric Liddell, whose life was the basis for the movie, "Chariots of Fire'" once saying he ran because, "God made me really fast and when I run, it brings Him pleasure."
I lost my passion for writing there for a while until I started thinking, "God gave me the gift of communicating with words, so when I use that gift, it brings Him pleasure.
So my plan is to join you here at least once a week, sometimes more, as we continue this journey together.
Earlier this month Jon Alex went through a couple of weeks where he was really sick. He had strep throat, pink eye, and a sinus infection simultaneously. For several days, despite medication, the little guy couldn't sleep, couldn't breath comfortably, and was just full of congestion in his nose and throat, and his eyes were caked over.
It's hard to grasp that at 14 years old, because of his special needs, he can't blow his own nose or do anything really to alleviate his symptoms on his own. So he is pretty helpless to help take care of himself.
Because he is non-verbal he can't even talk to tell us where it hurts or what he needs.The doctor told us he was highly contagious so try to be careful.
One night I could just hear him coughing, sneezing, and moaning as he tried to go to sleep. He would lie down but couldn't breathe as he was all stopped up. So he would sit up and moan, having not been able to sleep for several nights.
I went into his room and pulled up a chair to his bedside. Jon Alex's bed, because of his mobility issues, sits lower on the floor than a typical bed. As I sat there looking down at him in his bed, I tried softly singing to him and praying gently to him.
As i did so, he reached his arms up towards me. I froze for just a second. With my immune system, I knew that if I picked him up or got too close I would get the same sickness he had. But what kind of Dad would ignore his son's need for help? Without a second thought, I knew I had to go down in there to bring him relief. There was no other way.
I lowered the protective bed rail, and reached in and grabbed my son. He instantly rolled into my shoulder and rested his head on my chest. I held him in my lap leaning against me, and he smiled a little smile, as he drifted off to sleep.
I don't think I have ever felt the unconditional love a dad has for his child any stronger than in that moment.
And yes, two days later I developed strep throat, pink eye, and a sinus infection. But my son was much better!
In looking back now a couple of weeks later, I see that what God was doing through this experience was showing me the essence of the gospel and why Jesus did what he did.
We were helpless and covered in our own sickness called sin. And because of our "sickness" we were separated from God. God looked at our situation, knew that the only way to save us was to take on our sickness himself. So God in the form of Jesus said, "I'm going down there. It's the only way."
This journey of being a special needs parent is so challenging and demanding. Not to mention the weariness and loneliness we sometimes feel. Have you ever had one of those days when you just feel helpless and don't know where to turn?
Next time it happens, just stretch your arms up towards the heavens and cry for help.
You may be in a mess. But God wants you to know your His mess. And when you reach for Him, He won't pause for a second to come down here for you.
He's a special needs dad Himself you know.