Moving blog contents to another website is like relocating to another country; just sayin'.
WendyRedroad.com has moved--with a new name to boot!
I was nineteen years old when Christopher was born. Twenty-one when he was hospitalized with acute kidney failure and diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome.
Fluids were limited. Diapers weighed. And the fragile fingers of my toddler were routinely pricked to collect the blood necessary to measure kidney function. When not another drop of blood could be squeezed due to the bruising of his chubby fingers, medical staff switched to toes.
IV therapy was particularly challenging. Kidney patients suffer sever edema, so it's no small feat to find a willing vein. I remember well, the day my Christopher's ability to be soothed was surpassed by the overwhelming fact that there did not appear to be an end in sight to the very real pain he endured each day.
After 2-3 failed attempts, a neonatal nurse (read: ninja) who works with preemies, was called upon to access a vein. She entered the room and joined four adults standing at his bedside. With the best of intentions and the purest of motives, we started in with our spiel: It's okay, sweet baby. This woman is here to help you get better.
And that's right about the time Sweet Baby had had enough. Not because no one cared. But rather, because a human being (toddler or no) can only take so much. Because it wasn't okay.
So, he sat straight up in that hospital bed and shouted, "##@**!!!" It was the mother of all swear words. I'm not talking about the F word. Given the nature of this story, I'm inclined to write that one. Nope. My little guy took the Lord's name in vain. (Oh, yes he did.)
It grieves me to report that I was flush with embarrassment. If memory serves, my response went something like: I'm so sorry. We don't use that word in our home. I don't know where he got that. "Christopher . . . Baby, we don't talk like that."
Let's recap. A very big world had inflicted upon the shoulders of a very small child, a series of painful events he could no longer withstand. At least not on this day. So, he had a melt-down.
The mother, who loved this child more than life itself, initially felt embarrassed/self-righteous, rather than empathetic, to a weary soul's diminished capacity to take another "hit."
In contrast, this is how our beloved neonatal ninja responded: Baby boy. I know you're mad! I know this hurts! You say whatever you need to say to get through this.
There it is, people. Grace.
Do you have it for yourself when you say or do something you wouldn't ordinarily say or do when pure exhaustion and pain supersede what you already know the Bible has to say about a Christian's words/deeds being worthy and all?
Do you extend that same grace to friends and family when they're hurting? To the cranky person working the register at a glacial pace when the last place you want to be is in line at the grocery store? Do you ever consider that the last place your cashier might want to be that day is in front of a register, perhaps too heartbroken to force a smile?
Life is messy. And at times, painfully overwhelming. Shouldn't we, as Christians, embrace one another with empathetic arms, rather than use carefully selected Scripture to "minister" to a weary soul who's clearly hanging on by a thin thread?
If you're hurting and there's no end in sight. If the "hits" keep coming and you've had moments when the ability to respond gracefully vanished in thin air, I would say to you:
Baby girl. I know you're mad! I know you're hurt! And there's grace for you when you stumble and fall. I once believed grace was something that dusted me off and stood me up again. But that's only the half of it. Grace, I've discovered, is determined to convince me that with a mouth full of dust-- too weak to stand, I am loved and cherished. This is the revelation that will empower me (and you) to rise up and walk again.
You are not alone,
Published on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 @ 11:16 AM CDT