I almost made it out of the hospital this morning without having to feel. I spent the dreaded night shift with 2 of my favorite people, with fairly easy (and cute) patients, with few moments of "night shift despair" and then we ran into her. On our way out we noticed the mom of a sweet little 6-year-old boy we've been taking care of just sobbing on the phone in front of the elevators. We didn't recognize her at first because she had her head in her hands and her long hair covered her tear-stricken face. but her zebra print danskos gave her away. when she looked up, our hearts sank and we knew immediately that the news wasn't good. She looked panicked, terrified, devastated, angry, wounded, and worried, her eyes begging for answers. Answers that may never come. Stage 4 glioblastoma. Today it sounds so foreign but the name will shape their days for months to come. 4 days ago, he was "normal". 4 days ago he started limping. 4 days ago, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. yesterday, they named it. it's ugly, really ugly, but it's not something we haven't seen before, we can fight it. but the fight is almost as ugly as the tumor itself. why? my 2 friends sat with this mom and uttered words of strength to her as she cried. they reminded her that she's stronger than she thinks she is. they assured her the answers would come. they hugged her. they saw her and loved her. just like Jesus saw the woman at the well, and the widow who had lost her son, and the centurion whose daughter was dying. They didn't discount her pain, but they gently spoke strength and hope and power into her helplessness. What a beautiful picture of compassion.
We don't know the answers. That's the hardest part. There are SO many questions and so few answers. but it's days like these that I wonder how people make it through these kinds of things without Jesus. I know I couldn't do my job without his hope, his strength, his love. not even for a second. Sometimes I wonder how long I can take it..
There's a long road ahead of them, with detours we can't expect or predict. Today is day one of many days of sadness, fear, and fighting. Today is day one of a little boy fighting for his life. and I just have a feeling this one's gonna win.