Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Child-like faith....

This photo is the lead to an article in the NYT (taken by Scott Dalton and found here.) It, and the accompanying article written by Gina Kolata, were sent to me by friend who knows of our history with M. D. Andersen Cancer Center in Houston. Does this photo speaks volumes to you, Gentle Reader, as it does to me? Here is a woman, in her hospital gown, hooked up to her IV, crossing a city street as if it were a normal thing. She is living with her cancer in a place of last-hope chances.

The article does an excellent job of giving you a feel for this amazing place. Dave was in-hospital there for almost three months at the beginning of the clinical trial that God used to bring him healing from stage 4 metastatic melanoma (almost 18 years ago now!) In the article, one patient is quoted as saying that walking into Andersen, despite its beautiful lobbies and lovely decor, felt like walking into a coffin. This phrase brought back vivid memories for me.

My boys were 6 and 7 the summer we spent in Houston, in a little "Medical Apartment" subsidized by Catholic Charities inside the "loop" in Houston. While Dave was in-patient most of the time, and I was with him, the dear friend who kept the boys at the apartment was close enough to bring them to visit every day. That was a mixed blessing. You see, Andersen is the last resort for people. Everyone there has expended the "normal" options, and many who walk the halls and lobbies there show horrific signs of their fight. Some are missing body parts (and we saw nearly every visible body part missing.) Some have tubes and wires running out of places unimaginable. Many are carting IV pole with multiple colored fluids, buckets to vomit in, or oxygen machines. It is a trial for adults. But it was terrifying to my little boys.

So, we talked about it, and prayed about it. I explained that all these people were like Daddy-- fighting for their lives from cancer. And how many of them got to see children while they were in the hospital? Not many. Wouldn't it cheer them up to have some little boys who weren't afraid to look at them, and could give them a smile? Couldn't they minister to every person they met in the hallway, not by turning away or looking horrified, but by smiling to everyone they met? How that would please Jesus!

So I watched them. They would take a big breath as someone with a soft, yellow bag sewn to their head, and a tube coming out above their eyes, or a person missing part of their face, would walk by. They would look them right in the eyes and give them a smile. It's one of the bravest things I ever saw my little boys do.

Isn't it amazing how our children believe what we tell them, and act on it? Oh, for that child-like faith. It must make Jesus smile.

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