The waitress pours the coffee hot, our conversation pauses as we both nod, smile and acknowledge her presence and slight intrusion into our “mom”talk. The steam rises up fogging her glasses. I sprinkle sugar into my cup and add the thick cream until it looks about right. We exchange stories about our children, laughing and even a few tears and dream big dreams about what the Lord is doing in our families and in our city. I have this deep feeling of trust and connection with this vulnerable and honest friend and I feel it deep in my bones. Sharing one of the deepest burdens on my heart, I share with her how I am praying for ways to connect with my son. Boys are so foreign to me, growing up with 3 girls in my home. I want to know how to play with boys and love on boys and be the best mom that I can to my boys but especially to my middle son whom I think is crying out for more of that from me.
The check is paid and we are on our way home in the middle of more conversation that is deep and honest and real.
The ring of my phone yanks me out of this conversation with a start. I feel it as soon as I see my husband is the caller, that something is wrong. Hello? There was an accident. He was pushed, pushed off of something, he fell, he is crying. I can hear the crying. Shivering uncontrollably. Broken. Something is broken, I know this instinctively. I’m not sure if it’s him or my heart.
A three minute drive feels like 3 hours and then I get out.
Dodging through the people, I see the back of my husband’s head, the stroller, my daughter. . . and then. . .
I see him.
He turns his head and those sweet 4 year old eyes meet mine and I see the panic, the pain and the broken all wound up in one little glance from those sparkly blue eyes that were dark with pain right now.
I run and scoop him up and he sobs into me. Oh the pain. . . the broken pain. I live somewhere in between denial and reality. I want to race him home because there somehow I can make it all better and I want to race him to the hospital as quickly as I can. I hear my own voice speaking soft and low and calmly telling him that it’s going to be alright. I hear my voice telling him “It is going to be alright.”
Yet I feel a part of my heart wondering what is in store. Is it surgery? Is it a cast? Is it months of difficulty walking? Running? Oh. . . running! My little 4 year old athlete. . . my 1st place track and field 50 meter dash boy. . . how will we survive if he can not run?
“Oh Lord. . . but I do not know what to do, but my eyes are upon you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12)
My eyes Lord are upon you. I will look up. . . I. . . will.. . look up. . .
Doctor’s office, x rays and more doctors to see. Orthopedic specialists, x ray technicians and back to his pediatrician. Yes indeed the foot bones are broken. . . but did it affect the growth plates? What will this mean for his future? Will he walk normal? Run normal? Waiting. . . for orthopedic specialist and pediatrician to talk in their hushed tones down the hall and come to an agreement on what they see and how to share it with us.
We wait for what feels like eternity to me with my busy four year old popping wheelies in his miniature kid sized wheelchair. “Can we bring one of these home with us?” he asks me and I laugh out loud. Hearing my own voice laughing surprises me and I think about God’s grace in moments of difficulty and trial. I am laboring in my mind about his future abilities and he is trying to figure out the mechanics of how to pop a wheelie with his wheelchair and how to convince me to bring one home. The agony and the laughter mingle together for a short while in my mind and in my heart. How is it that two contrasting emotions can both live here in my heart at the same time. There is a knock on the door and the orthopedic specialist enters back into our waiting room.
I let out a thankful breath when we find out that it did not break into the growth plate. I didn’t even know that foot bones had growth plates before today. Logically it makes sense, but I never needed to think about it before. . .and now all I can think about is God’s grace in missing the growth plate. A cast is applied, another x ray taken and we are on our way home. There is no wheelchair for home, no crutches (he is too little for them) but there was a lollipop and despite the pain and the disappointment, a pretty happy little boy riding in the back seat.
It isn’t until the car ride home that I think again of God’s grace and how it has flowed down and keeps flowing out of my eyes. Today, God’s grace tastes salty as it flows down. But God’s grace is hard for me to breath in right now and yet I receive it with gratefulness. Would my eyes no matter how much of God’s grace flows all salty from them. . . at any one point in time, just stay looking up. . . would my eyes but stay fixed upon Him?