͞For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9
It’s quiet. Deep inside it’s quiet. Vince was pushed into the operating room a half an hour ago. They are going to cut the femur so they could turn the end back into its socket. We have been busy assembling the BIPAP machine with the humidifier. We are carefully putting together the cough machine with the inhaler, and we are putting it all on a rolling table so we could take it the ICU, to the room where Vince will be taken after the surgery.
It’s quiet. We hug each other with my husband. Nothing keeps our minds or hands busy now. There is peace and quiet deep down. We sit in the hospital armchairs. We look at each other; there are no words, only sighs. We wait. We have 3 and a half hours. I offer my husband to read from the Bible. Genesis 39: the story of Joseph and his brothers. Years pass by for Joseph where he faces misery, hardship and prison. Then he gets a high position in the pharaoh’s court; he becomes recognized and appreciated. At the part where Joseph meets his brother, and finally his father again, God speaks to my heart. My tears start to fall. I feel acutely how much Joseph must have missed his family, how he yearned for the closeness of his father, Jacob.
͞Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out. Have everyone leave my presence! So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh͛s household heard about it. Joseph said to his brothers. I am Joseph! Is my father still living?Genesis 45:1-3
God is teaching something again. Suddenly my heart beats with my husband’s heart of caring love. I feel as he aches for my son, and my son for him. I’m hit with the profound love I feel for my own father. He is so far away from me, and I still feel the warmth of his palms as he massages my cold feet after the long snowball fights in the winter. It’s not about words or actions, it is about a much deeper connection. And then I understand the infinity of God’s love for us. How intricate it is, extending to every detail of our lives! Fatherly love! Love itself loves me! There are no words… A father’s love can be the image of this among our earthly feelings, but now, for a brief moment, I can feel this unlimited divine love. My tears start falling. I can’t tell my husband what’s inside me, but it’s simple really: Love
Love given by God has a measure: manifold! Human love can only concentrate on a few aspects at a time, but what God gives is so complex that it is hard to describe with words. Now I only try because it overflows in me, and I cannot keep it to myself. We are a week after the surgery. It is 5 AM. Vince is fast asleep, the BIPAP machine blows rhythmically, attached to the tracheostomy tube. Vice’s body is covered with the stiff orthotic brace, which is fastened with metals to the orthotic braces on his thighs, so his legs can be kept in a giant straddle. This position is important after hip surgery, because this keeps the femur from turning out of its socket. He’s got casts from his calves to his big toes, because the doctors made incisions on his feet, so his soles could close a 90-degree angle with his legs. This way later we can stand him up properly. He is asleep. Sound asleep. To me this is already the manifestation of God’s love, because it’s hard to fall asleep with these uncomfortable devices. And we know the bones heal best when resting. I get up, and while Vince is slumbering, I put my running shoes on. In five minutes I am jogging on Benjamin Franklin Parkway. I run under the trees, where Sylvester Stallone ran once in Rocky. I listen to a worship from back home, the Sun is about to peek out from behind a skyscraper, and a chipmunk runs by me. During this time Vince is sleeping peacefully with the machines. My husband is with him in the apartment, but he is so tired he can only really pay attention to him every five minutes, then he falls back to sleep. But God doesn’t take His eyes away from us for even a second. He pays careful attention to the details. He plans every second perfectly, and He
gives me His perfect, unlimited, caring love, personalized for my soul.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Luke 12:7
Can you imagine this situation? When Vince was born seven years ago, I spent years not daring to close my eyes when we came home from the hospital, so that I wouldn’t leave him alone even for a second. Secretion could get into the trach any time, and that needs to be suctioned immediately, otherwise no air will get in. It’s a miracle what’s happening to us. God’s love is so complex! Vince is sleeping at home with the machine, and off I go running for a half an hour. How can I do this? I can, because I have learned that I don’t control Vince’s breathing. God is the One who cares! God’s breath gives life! God is the one who Loves!
My boy was taken back in the ICU after a four-hour surgery. He was half asleep. The machines were beeping, the BIPAP was sighing, and I was sitting quietly, looking at his face. When he first opened his eyes, he looked at me and asked where his dad was. I told him he was in the room, resting on the foldaway bed. In his eyes closing again to this response I saw the relief, the calm and peace all compressed into one second, and he was back asleep already.
God is always there, in our room!
“For I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.” Psalms 26:3