“Seizure- full blown- I’m on it.”
I texted those words to my wife with one hand, as I ripped my seatbelt off with the other hand.
Earlier this morning at breakfast, my wife had noticed our son was especially restless and agitated. “He’s out of sorts this morning,” she had said.
We had attended church together, and on the way home, we stopped at the grocery store for the weekly shopping. Because our son was out of school on break, going to the grocery store was a three-person affair.
Becky had gone into the store to pick up the groceries, leaving me in the car attending to our son. I had positioned the mirror on the visor so that I could see our son strapped into the back seat.
I felt the kick in the back of my seat. Thinking my son was simply bouncing in his seat, as he loves to do so often, I glanced in the mirror.
His arms were flailing, his torso was arched, and his eyes had gone wide.
I quickly opened my own door, got out of the car, and opened his rear door so that I could attend to him.
He was safely strapped into his seat belt that held his upper body in place, but his arms and legs were gesticulating uncontrollably. I checked his breathing, and for the next 10 minutes, I tried my best to hold his twitching limbs and console him as well.
I began to pray over him while re-assuring him that I was right there with him and that I would see him through this. “We’ll go through this together Jon Alex and I’ll protect you.”
I prayed to God.
I spoke to Jon Alex.
I prayed to God some more.
I spoke to Jon Alex some more.
“How long O Lord? How long must we endure this?”
“Jon Alex, your Dad is right here. I will not leave you. I will not make you go through any of this on your own. When it’s over, I will get you home.”
“How much longer Lord? When will this pain end?”
“Jon Alex, I’m still here. I’m so sorry you have to endure this in your life. But you’re going to be OK. I will get you home.”
Becky rejoined us just as the seizure ended. We consoled Jon Alex and after making sure he was fine, I turned to my family and said, “It’s time to go home.”
It’s been raining for days now. I don’t remember the last time it wasn’t raining.
The weather lady on Channel 2 called it a “meandering front.”
I’m pretty sure she made that phrase up.
We live in a natural valley and so the low-lying clouds often seem like they are just hanging overhead. The hills surrounding us were already blanketed with fog, and the wind changed directions intensifying the rain.
“I’m sick of rain.”
“I’m sick of seizures.”
The meandering front had left me in a meandering funk.
I felt smothered by the storms. Surrounded by the storms. Cloudy and miserable on the outside. Cloudy and miserable on the inside.
The world seems like it’s falling apart. Every day brings more bad news.
“How long O Lord? How long?”
I’m sick of seizures. I’m sick of autism. I’m sick of cerebral palsy.
I feel so powerless and helpless. I’m his dad, I’m supposed to be able to protect him from harm but sometimes I can’t. That’s what hurts the most. That’s what wrecks me.
As long as he lives, he will experience occasional pain and suffering. But as long as I live, I will be here to help him get home.
That home, Heaven.
I sat silently in my funk for a long time. The only sound was the rain and thunder, and the wind ripping through the trees. From my seat on the porch, I noticed an even darker storm cloud moving in from the west due to the changing of the stronger winds. The leaves on the ground were swirling.
“How long O Lord?”
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “B race yourself like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.” (Job 40:6-7)
I watched the storm cloud as it passed right-to-left over our neighborhood. The wind blew it by quickly, and the rain began to subside slightly.
I said nothing. I felt so tired and so weary.
Then I felt it. At first I noticed the calm in the air as the storm lessened. Then I felt calm in my inner spirit as that storm began to lessen as well. And then I heard it in my spirit.
“Your Dad is right here too son. I’ll get you home.”
I remembered the Father’s promises. I remembered the Father’s goodness. I recalled that my Father never leaves my side and never makes me go through any storms in my life alone either. We are never alone.
The pains and the sufferings of living in a fallen world that seems to be falling even further apart every day are magnified by our special-needs challenges.
But one promise remains from our Father, “I’ll get you home.”
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:3-4)