Monday, October 27, 2008

"Just Doing What I Was Supposed To Do"

How do I describe what happened? It is complicated – but makes perfect sense.

A week ago last Thursday our oldest daughter Dana became very ill. It seems a virus of some sort has attacked her system and the side effects have been nasty. With the extreme nausea she dropped in her fluid intake to the point that one week after she began the gruelling ordeal we took her to the hospital where the Emergency crew administered 3 large units of fluid through an IV – then released her that evening.

Dana and Bruce have two kids. One is Clifford who is a typical 13 year old boy. If he is fed and has a warm place to sleep, gets some exercise physically and mentally he is happy. The other is Clifford’s sister Emma, who is 9 years old – and is a very different person. Her needs are to be the nurse, take care of her dolls and others.

When Dana has been feeling so terrible Emma is the one that has expressed the care openly. Clifford cares, but in a different way I am sure.

Emma came home to her sick mommy and told mom that she had written about her mom in her journal at school for the teacher to read. It was the major thing in her life that day as she walked to school alone. Her world was upside down with mom not functioning well.

At home she came by the couch where mom was laying and checked to see how her patient was doing. Could it be that at 9 years old a nurse or a doctor is starting to appear? She had told Doctor Hurst, the family doctor a few years back, that she intended to be a doctor like him. She was about 5 years old then.

This past Sunday Bruce was working and Dana was resting at home still not 100%. The kids were at church with us.

Pause here to explain something about the church…
Our church believes in asking God for help. We do that by praying for each other. At a certain time in the morning service we slow things down and ask if there is anyone in the congregation that day that might need prayer. The people are asked to come forward to allow the pastor to lay hands on them and ask for prayer for their special burden. We have prayed for financial needs, family crisis and physical problems. In fact we pray for anything that might be pressing that day on the congregation that is attending.
It made sense to me that we pray for Dana, our daughter, who had been so ill for so long. As I moved out of my pew as a Congregant in need, no one would know my problem. I approached Alida and whispered that I would like to go forward for prayer for Dana. Emma was between us. It was natural that we all three go together. There we walked down the long aisle, Grandpa on onside, Grandma on the other and Emma between us holding hands. It was the perfect setting for faith.

Our turn came for prayer and Pastor Herb approached us. I explained about Dana’s illness and need for prayer. Emma listened closely. I explained that Emma had been taking care of her mom at home and was here to ask prayer for her.

Pastor Herb then spoke to Emma and told her what he was going to pray and how he wanted Emma to return home and pray for her mom.

It was a beautiful and simple family moment when we stopped to ask our God to heal our daughter. It is all that I know when I am helpless and don’t know what to do. And last Thursday as I took my daughter and wife to the Emergency department was one of those “not knowing what to do” moments – when things are bleak and there is no where else to turn.

In the middle of the afternoon I called to see how Dana was doing. Emma answered the phone for her mom who was still lying on the couch resting. I asked Emma if she had told her mom that we had prayed for her at church. Emma’s reply was the most important part of my week… and settled any issues that I had faced in my confusing world…

“Grandpa I told mom what we did in church today. Then I put my hand on her head and prayed for her. I did what I was supposed to do.”

I kind of gulped at that moment. I said, “Emma, you are amazing! You are going to be great Nurse or Doctor or maybe even a Minister someday.”

She flatly replied, “I just did what I was supposed to do.”
Dana came on the telephone next. She described the same account about her 9 year old angel of mercy and faith. And then Dana told me that she started to feel better after that prayer and the room had stopped spinning.

I know that this is a simple family story that I almost spoil by telling it. It is a private moment for a Grandpa and his Granddaughter. But is so much more than that… It is simple faith that can move mountains and build life where death reigns and rules…where problems are so impossible that they burry us… and faith can say “It doesn’t have to be this way – I will pray and God will hear me!”

If I could capture what Emma has and some how offer it to a great big hurting world… I could solve every problem around me and maybe even all the problems of the whole world.

Along time ago Jesus said some words that ring so true this morning. Matthew recorded what happened when Jesus said these words…
2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-4)

The admonition is simple for me. “If you don’t catch a hold on the simple faith that young girls like Emma have you are not even going to make it to Heaven – let alone make it in Heaven!”

For some the culture shock will be too great… they won’t fit in Heaven… they had little or no faith on Earth… and Heaven would simply blow their minds!

Today I face a waiting world and a needy one at that. I need a tiny bit of what Emma has learned so well. I am going to take this world on and all its battles with a new perspective – and simply in Emma’s terms of reference, “I just going to do what I am supposed to do.”

May your day be filled with an “Emma like approach” to everything – and then you will be able to say at the end of the day…“I just did what I was supposed to do.”

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Gateway Bible

1 comment:

Dana said...

Thank you for all the prayers from everyone. I know that each day I am getting better - I think that tomorrow my ENT doctor won't believe the improvement. Now I just need my hearing back to 100% so I can hear what the kids are up to!