What I learned from a 2 year old today. . .
“just focus on something. . . anything.” I barely hear my inner voice telling my real self these words of advice above the sound of my baby crying and crying and pleading with me as he asks me , “Please mommy, please take me home!” The smell of sweat and tears and blood and flesh fill my nostrils and I can barely see through my own tears to focus my heart on anything. If I can just focus my eyes on something, then I won’t have to look at the pain all over my boys chest and I can comfort him better when I'm not crying too. "Focus Tammy! Focus!" Ah, there it is, a clock on the wall with a United family hospital emblem on the top. That is where I fix my eyes and try with all of my might to hold my little guys arms still, sing his favorite lullaby and settle my heart. But my heart is too unsettled. I am holding him now while they swab, clean and bandage up the wounds on his chest all the while I am filled with regret! A hot noodle soup bowl, a hungry 2 year old and a turned back for just a split second had brought us rushing here through the screaming and the frantic and the tears of confusion and fear from the older siblings. Oh, to go back and make peanut butter and jelly instead. . . oh to go back and to see him slip quietly into the kitchen instead of to the bathroom to wash his hands where I thought he was. . . if I had only seen him. . what I wouldn’t give right now for a “re-do” of those 2 minutes of my day. . . but it can not be re done. . . it can not be changed. . . and the pain he will go through now can not be relieved.
They are finished for now and I see the doctor’s face and I hear his words, second degree burns, a % was mentioned I didn't understand, protecting against infection is crucial. Levi is gripping me so tight right now, I can tell he is still terrified of all of this and then suddenly as if all is well he hops down and in this cheerful voice he turns and first he thanks the doctor for helping him and then he thanks the nurses for helping him. I am stunned. Still in a sort of shock from the hot soup water and the screaming and the sores and. . . from all of it and then there he goes thanking everyone he sees for fixing his “owie” and for the "bandaid". We leave and head homeward and I am still stunned that within seconds of enduring so much pain at the hands of the doctors and nurses working on him he could offer up a word of thanks to them. He sleeps now in the backseat. I drive. But my heart is heavy and feels dark. I sense the Lord telling me to offer up a word of thanks to Him and I can not. My lips will not move and my voice will not speak except to argue in prayer. . . I tell him with the utmost respect and honesty that I can not thank Him, that I can not comprehend how last night my friends gathered around me on my birthday and prayed a prayer of blessing and protection for this next year for me and my family – how could He allow this just hours after so many saints beseeched Him on our behalf? The Sovereign One scolds me not but I feel held and understood as if in a tender embrace as I pour out my complaints before Him. He is no stranger to the parental agony of seeing your son in horrific pain and knowing that from this moment on. . . the only way is to go through it. Then, I hear Him speaking to my heart. . . He asks me to submit my heart, my will, and to offer the praise of thanksgiving just as did my son minutes ago. Initially, I refuse again, but finally relent to submit more out of “ought” to than out of “want to” but I start with a very simple prayer of, “I thank you.” As these words, in faith, barely audible, squeeze their way out of my mouth suddenly words and emotions of thanksgiving are tumbling their way out not waiting for the last to finish before the next begins and finally I am focused, and I am filled. . . and I have learned the secret to a focused heart is through offering thanks to the Sovereign one. The thanks does not nullify my pain in fact my heart still aches for the boy in the backseat but I know and I trust the One who loves him even more than I and who understands his pain and my own.