Monday, April 8, 2013

We are still here...for now

Today Lydia and I are at Cook Children's Hospital for her 6-hour video EEG. I had to wake her up at 3 a.m. so that she would be sleep deprived and fall asleep during the test. Many times EEGs will show normal activity during waking hours but abnormal activity as one drifts in or out of sleep. 

Keeping her awake during the drive, we chatted about stories from my childhood, joked about how tired we were and discussed how she might alleviate her nervousness about today. Maybe it would be more accurate to say I chatted and she grunted out a periodic, "uh-huh" or "yeah". Needless to say the sleep deprivation worked.

One thing that came of our discussion is that she hoped it would be a different man from last time to put on her EEG leads. He had joked heavily with her from the outset and demonstrated an overbearing manner. He called her "kitten" and "princess", telling her how pretty she was to manipulate her into silence as he roughly rubbed her head before attaching each of the 20 button leads. He denied all the discomfort she felt, and told her not to disappoint him. And then in the next breath said how much he'd like to take her home.

He's been here for over 40 years and has the lobby dedicated to him. We heard many stories of all "his" kids. He's obviously quite comfortable in his position and thinks highly of his own bedside manner with children.

I asked her how he made her feel, and she identified that she didn't really trust him. To be honest, neither did I. He's a man it's fine to be with as a tech for a test but one with whom I would never trust my child alone. It's not that he did anything wrong—just one of those people who come with a warning label attached to their character that danger could ensue and caution is needed.

It's good for her to have these experiences. It helps her  learn to identify different personalities and character types. She'll need "street smarts" in her life, and experiences like these give them to her first hand. 

With all her desire that he not be her tech today, we prayed for the Lord to give her someone different. But, I also encouraged her that if he was her tech, we could assume God had placed us in his hands that we might love him and pray for him. 

I don't know where he is at spiritually, but perhaps he needs love and gentleness from others to help him to learn to love and have gentle hands. Maybe he hasn't ever had the love of God penetrate his spirit as we have.  Our love for him could plant a seed God will grow to mature fruit in his earthly life, but most importantly in his eternal. Lydia was getting a lesson in God's call on her life to LOVE the unlovely, no matter how well you LIKE them.

 I told her if she was under his care today that the discomforts would be a kind of suffering, but one which she could embrace knowing God has a purpose for it. I don't know how much she retained during that sleepy drive, but may God impress upon us all that life's irritants should become God's pearls in our meek, clam shell lives.

All of this is possible in us who believe because our Forerunner, Jesus, was meek and suffered at the hands of the unlovely, but loved us yet. He is our example. He already lived out what God asks us to do. And because He died and rose again, He EVER lives to live out in us what He asks us to do—if we'll let Him. 

This morning we parked in the same parking garage we did for so many months to visit Luke. We descended the same stairwell. We entered the same lobby. But we did not turn aside to the same elevators to visit our little guy. He is not here. He is risen. 

How do I know that? Because it was the same on Easter morning when the women came to Jesus' tomb. "He is not here. He is risen." Jesus is Luke's forerunner and the firstborn among many brethren.

Our hearts cannot be sad for that, for our goal is that all six of our children follow their Forerunner into eternity as part of the "many brethren". 

Is it not also the same for ourselves? For our family? For our friends? For our neighbors? For our co-workers? For even the EEG tech? 

May we be Jesus' love on this earth to all men that it may be so, for He is not here. He is risen indeed! 

We are still here...for now.