Sunday, October 11, 2009

still waiting

As we approach another week, we are still waiting for a call from the doctor with a time to meet to go over the MRI on Jake's thumb and to decide when to do the surgery and what to the surgery will entail. There are many options including partial amputation. A lot depends on how they feel the nerves are and have the potential to be. This is going to be a big hurdle to move through - to finally have the procedure done and to get on with rehab on his right hand. As I spread lotion on his right side - back, front, underarm, arm - I was overwhelmed as I looked at how small his right arm skinny. Overwhelmed again as I focused on what was damaged - how badly.

How do you explain God to your son in this situation?

He tells me, "it could be a lot worse , but Dad, it could be a lot better." He knows God is in the midst of this but it is so hard to fathom what he is going to do with it. One step at a time, Jake.

In the midst of it he is also starting to catch a glimpse of how others are being affected by his journey. He seems to stay in neutral right now. I do not sense anger - more just despair - wanting to be normal. He wanted to stay with his friends as we visited a birthday party on Saturday - he just did not have the strength or stamina. He wants to go to sushi and not have people stare at him - he does not want pity.

Throughout this journey I have thought a lot about Abraham and Isaac. Pondering the conversation that they might have had going up to the offering with no sacrifice. What did Abraham say to Isaac as he bound his hands and placed him on the table and raised a knife to sacrifice out of obedience to God. Tonight I wondered what the conversation must have been like on the way down the mountain - sacrifice made - Isaac's life spared. I felt a little resentful. Although I know that I could not walk Abraham's journey - I could not have raised the knife - Isaac was not injured. His skull was still intact - muscles were not removed - skin was not burned.

That was though Abraham and Isaac's journey. This is our journey. Again I come back to what I do not want others to do: compare. God does not change. He is still in the midst of this. Jake and I talked about it a bit tonight - he wants to add some Bible reading to our school schedule. He is going to pick the book. Yes I am jazzed - he wants it - Dad is not pushing it. As we together walk toward this question of why - what are going to do with all of this God? Where are you leading us? What are the next steps?

God continues to encourage us. Simple messages that remind us that God is in the midst of all of this. One this morning made me cry a bit as I read it. A new friend who has joined this journey with us. As she began to pray for Jake - she was able to pray for herself - to turn back to God and to move away from some addiction that pulled her away - that gripped her by both wrists and both ankles and pulled her down. She is finding freedom again - turning to God and finding freedom.

As I wrote that last sentence - God whispered something to me: perhaps freedom is a big part of this journey for Jacob - that he might pursue God in the midst of his journey and find freedom. So often we think that pursuing God means constriction, narrow thinking, chains that restrict us. Pursuing God - the real God - should lead us to the Kingdom of God which is far bigger than we can even imagine. Finding God, surrendering to God, gives us freedom: grace, forgiveness, hope, and love. Releasing our hold - or as Robbie has written often - in brokenness we find wholeness.

Though this journey has brought pain and suffering
trial, tribulation, brokenness have been my companion
Surrender has brought freedom where I thought chains would be
peace has come where darkness wanted to crowd out hope

This journey has also brought joy and triumph
mercy, compassion have drenched my desert soul
Dancing has replaced mourning, singing replaced sorrow
life has been restored and hope shined forth as a beacon

Knowing full well this journey has not yet reached an end
we press on toward the goal with confidence and persistence
that we will see the face of God in the land of the living
we will experience the hand of God lifting us to himself

in Love and peace,

Tom (JK's Dad)

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