It was one of those moments. You know, the kind where you can’t feel the lower half of your body. A young boy walked up and said, “Are you Cameron’s mom?” The way he said it … my motherly instinct knew he wasn’t asking because he was curious.
Something was wrong.
“Follow me,” he ordered, his voice elevated. As our walk slowly turned into a run, the other moms followed. When a child is hurt, a sudden hush comes over a crowd of moms talking, and a sense of uneasiness sets in. As we followed, a man rushed towards us with my crying child in his arms.
“He fell from the top of the slide, it could have been so bad!” he shouted. This man was an angel–he was a firefighter, and because of his training, he knew something was wrong with my son’s arm. He placed my son in his car seat, knew how to elevate his arm, and then he put my son’s seatbelt on him. The fall was hard, and my sweet boy kept saying, “Mommy, it hurts so bad.”
As I drove, exceeding every speed limit, we arrived at the emergency room to learn he had a little break, or fracture, in his wrist.
Just a fracture can hurt badly.
I imitated a Nascar driver on the way to the hospital. I prayed God would heal his arm and that nothing would be wrong with it. School was starting, and, of course, he is right-handed. All I could think of was how would he function? Leaving with a cast on his arm left me a bit discouraged.
This was only a few days after my dad passed away after an aggressive bout with cancer. If I’m honest, I was thinking, “God, have I not been through enough lately?” As if there is some sort of quota on how much He dishes out for us to take.
I was sure I had met mine.
With the loss of my dad, my child’s arm challenges, and everyday struggles, my life felt “fractured” as well. I’m not completely broken, just fractured; I have felt an “emptiness” the past few weeks. You may know that emptiness. You know how you normally are with God, and then over the course of a few fractures, you question whether He still sees you. You know full well He does; you just don’t feel it in the midst of whatever your fracture may be.
Sometimes even adults need gentle reminders of His love when our fall is so hard. God doesn’t need a calendar request or email to see us or remember what fracture we’re going through. I told my mom when we lost my dad, “It just hurts so badly.” My son echoed the same words from the backseat.
A few weeks have passed, and as I have walked slowly through my grief and emptiness, the Lord has been speaking to me. I haven’t done anything different in my quiet time, and there hasn’t been some miraculous change in my life; but, with the expectancy of fall creeping in and a new season of my life without my earthly father, I am sensing His presence more than ever.
My emptiness has begun to subside. In a recent day with Him, Jesus led me to the story of the blind beggar man in Luke 18:35.
“As Jesus approached Jericho; a blind beggar man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He let me know that while I have been empty, today, He is passing by. In fact, He let me know that while I am like the blind man and can’t see how the newness of the tragedy of losing my father is going to work out, my heavenly Father is ever present.
Sometimes life gives us trials that have no answer as to why they happened or even how they might be for good, but He is still passing by. While I studied the passage in Luke, God allowed me to see that the Greek word for beggar means “poor in spirit.” In my life, that’s where I have been; poor in my spirit.
I’m learning that in my walk with the Lord, I will experience many blessings, but also many experiences that seem to leave me and my life fractured. Whatever the trial, when these things happen, I’m finding His gentle reminders to be true: trust in Him; turn to Him in prayer; His presence will never leave me, even when I’m unable to feel His nearness.
When fractures occur, His presence is all we need.
Weeks have passed, and some surprising, yet parallel, things have happened in the healing of my child’s fractured arm–and in my fractured life as His child. My son has forgotten his initial fall; as the fireman said, it could have been worse. He has adjusted to his arm being in a cast, doing very normal things like swimming and learning to eat with his left hand.
And, he is peaceful. When you look at him playing from afar, you wouldn’t even know he had an injury or that he was wearing a cast.
I have not forgotten my loss, but the initial, excruciating pain from the loss seems distant. I am learning new ways to deal with my grief and to adjust to life without my dad. From afar, you wouldn’t know I was injured … even though, on the inside, my heart still feels like it’s in a cast.
In my quiet time one day, as I was starting to feel Him near, the enemy, of course, tried to lie to me as he does to all of us. The enemy kept reminding me that I had prayed for my dad to be healed from cancer and for my son’s arm to be completely all right, to no avail. For a brief second, I was disheartened and let God know (as if He needed reminding), “God, I prayed they would be healed.”
Then, the voice of my heavenly Father spoke. “My child, they are healed.”
God healed my dad. God healed my son’s arm. The picture of how He healed them was different than the picture I had in my head of how He would do it. Dad is completely healthy and whole in heaven. My child required a cast, but his arm wasn’t fully broken.
Thank you, Father.
Today, I hope you’re encouraged that whatever part of your life is fractured, wherever your spirit is poor, He is passing by. He wants you to hold on to the promise of Deuteronomy 30:19.
“Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life.”
“For the Lord is your life”–even when life leaves you fractured.