Time travel ~ that’s what it feels like when I find myself suddenly, once again, surrounded with the pain and reality of Scott’s death.
It always amazes me how fast I can go there.
This morning I decided not to go to church. I have fought this flu bug for almost two weeks and I decided to give myself an extra day of rest. So I poured myself a cup of coffee, sat down on the couch, and turned on the TV.
A woman was speaking to a sanctuary filled with parishioners.
(I recognized the church right away; the glass windows surrounding the sanctuary were a sure giveaway.)
I really did not intend to keep listen to her, but she was very engaging and the story just kept pouring out of her. I did not hear all the details but her story was about the faith of children who prayed for a miracle. She was an administrator at a Christian elementary school and she asked all the students to pray for a young friend who was having surgery for a brain tumor. The results of the surgery were not good. She shared how she had to go back to those students to tell them that their little friend was not going to get better ~ the little girl had been placed on life support. Doctors saw no signs of life and were advising the parents to turn off the machines.
The children couldn’t understand why they should stop praying. They believed in a God of miracles and were going to pray anyway. The next day, the doctors told the little girl’s parents that they saw a small hint of life in their daughter. Then the next day, they saw more life, and so on, until the little girl made a dramatic recovery.
And in that instant, I was overcome with doubt. In a matter of seconds, I traveled back in time. I was standing next to
at the medical center. I was holding his unresponsive hand. The nurses were coming in and out to check for any changes in his condition. His chest would rise and fall with each vent from the respirator, but there were no signs of life in him.
Scott did not recover. He was declared brain dead. He became an organ donor.
As I sat there on my couch this morning, I found myself once again questioning brain death and comas and vegetative states. It is personally very difficult for me to hear of someone who was
declared brain dead
and then wakes up after who-knows-how-many-years. Perhaps what complicates this for me is that these terms (brain death, coma, vegetative state) are used interchangeably so often by the media and those sharing these stories of recovery.
So once again I found myself wrestling with our decision. I went to the computer ~
. So many of the events of Scott’s final hours came into my mind as I fought against feelings of despair.
The statement from the neurosurgeon who first admitted Scott’s airlifted body ~ I see not life in your son.
The maxillofacial surgeon who operated on Scott for more than six hours ~ I literally just closed him up; I did all I could.
The 100+ high school students ~ many on their knees in the hallways ~ praying for a miracle.
The CT scan that was performed ~ convincing two neurosurgeons to declare Scott brain dead.
The blood flow test we demanded ~ and not one drop of dye went past Scott’s brain stem.
It is not that I don’t rejoice with the speaker this morning. I am so grateful that even one family did not have to live with the grief of losing a child!
What I want to say is that I believe in a God of miracles, too . Sometimes we do not receive the miracle we ask for. I truly wanted my son to survive. I still wish I could somehow have my son back. But that was not the miracle I received.
The miracle I received was
deeper and wider and higher than I ever knew before.
A grace that has the strength to carry me when I am weary.
A grace that is tender enough to catch all my tears in a bottle.
A grace that draws near to my broken heart.
A grace that transforms mourning into dancing.
A grace that guarantees a time to come when there will be no more tears, no more death, no more goodbyes.
And then it happens again ~ His grace transports me with those everlasting arms and gives me the courage to face the realities of life, and brings me the hope of a blessed reunion.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.