It’s 11:30pm on a Friday night and I am sitting in a hospital room next to my sleeping daughter who turns 8 months old tomorrow. She received her second round of chemo this morning, but despite that she has been up and smiling most of the afternoon and evening. Getting her to smile the last over the course of the last month and a half has been a chore. With all that she is battling, I am sure smiling is not on her “to do” list right now, but to be honest that smile is something I have missed dearly. I am glad she is young enough to not know she is sick but that doesn’t make up for what she is going through.
I am sitting in what feels like a defective recliner from the Lazy Boy factory. There is no way this thing pasted the test to be called a recliner. The foot rest is lower than the seat, the back will not recline very far and when you combine the two you end up at a 45 degree angle, feeling almost like being on a slide. Am I mistaken that the essence of a recliner is to, well, recline? It does serve its purpose as a desk chair when combined with the sliding food tray, however. I wonder to myself why they felt the need to have that in an infant’s room to begin with, but I just like to make something out of nothing I suppose.
The lights are all off and my wife is asleep on the couch-bed-thingy that is bigger than a twin mattress but not quite a full-sized bed. It’s some type of hybrid sleeping apparatus there to torture you all through the night with its lumps and loud constant squeaking. The only thing lighting up the room now is the glow of my laptop screen and the LED lights on Kenzie’s I.V. stand. It’s really just enough light to let me keep an eye on her in her monkey cage of a crib. I mean seriously, the thing is nearly six feet tall when completely closed with bars encompassing all sides. It really looks like something on loan from the Ft. Worth Zoo just down the street.
Laying sideways across the crib her head is within reach and every so often I will stretch my arm up there and rub her head for a minute. To be honest I’m not sure if I was doing it for me or for her, but it gave me a small sense of normalcy in the otherwise bizarre hospital environment. What’s really keeping me awake right now is watching her raise her head every so often to peek out from behind the silver bars to make eye contact for a brief second before returning her head to the mattress. This has gone on for I-don’t-know-how-long and I’m not sure why she keeps doing it. Maybe it’s the subtle clicking of my keyboard, or perhaps she’s just as uncomfortable in her bed as I am in mine. The only thing I can think of, is that she is in a weird place and wants to make sure Daddy is still there keeping an eye on things. At least, that what I want to think.
It’s only natural to look to ones parents when you’re young and things aren’t right. They are the ones who take care of us, watch over us, provide for us, and are supposed to make sure nothing bad happens to us. But what do we do as parents when there’s nothing we can do to help? Anyone who has been in a situation like that can agree with me that there is no more helpless feeling in the world.
I don’t think it’s any different for us as God’s children than it is for our little one’s in any situation we may face. Whether it’s the stress of life, sickness, financial problems, or even death, we tend to turn to our Father in our times of need. Even as grown adults we need that sense of comfort, that sense of guardianship, as it were. It’s that feeling we get when we know Daddy is right there looking over us no matter what, and there’s nothing we can do to make him turn away… and I mean nothing.
I have done a great deal of praying since I came to Christ, but I can say I’ve done more in the last two months than ever before. It hit me tonight that my daughter is battling something I cannot control by my own hand, and the one person I am putting my faith in for healing is God… Oh, and did I mention that two thousand years ago I killed his son.
You helped me do it, or did you forget?
It’s something that you really have to meditate on for a while to grasp the entire profundity of. The one person we put all our faith and love in is someone we crucified. I have to be honest, I can’t say that I will ever be able to comprehend the love and grace that surrounds this beautiful exchange of his life for ours, and I’m not sure I ever want to. It gives me something to think about: though I don’t totally comprehend it, how awesome it is and lucky we are to be here. The fact that He would give up his son, his one and only son, for me… Well, the only word I can think of is love.
As a father I will do anything in my power to protect my little girls. To let one of them endure such suffering for people I know and love would be next to impossible, much less billions of strangers around the world. There’s just no way! But He did, and He still loves us despite what we did to his only son and our Savior. He still lets us come to him in our time of need. He still wants to have an active relationship with me, with you, and with all things upon His creation. So ask yourself: if someone killed your child, would you do the same? Would you still love? Would you still seek after them? My guess is probably not. But that’s just how great His grace is. He died for us, because of us, but He still loves us. He still provides for us, and still wants to be a part of our life despite what we are responsible for.
If it were a game of Clue it would be solved by saying, “Matt Forman, with the hammer and nails, on the hill.” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. You see my involvement was so much more than that. I was the crowd who chanted for Barrabas; I was Peter, who denied Him that night. But the one that hurt the most was the fact that I was Judas’ kiss.
We all played our part in His son’s fate, now it’s time to let Him play his part in ours.