Let me paint a picture for you of the situation:
- 8 months pregnant
- working night shift--and short on leave time to use for my maternity leave
- moving to a new rental house--in which we were painting the nursery
- living far away from any family
- living paycheck to paycheck
- squabbling about money and moving and painting and everything!
We must have looked pretty pitiful when we arrived, because they took one look at Scott and found a room for us to lay him down in right away. After an examination, some blood work, and an x-ray of his tummy, it was clear that he was severely dehydrated and something was very wrong. The pediatrician on call came in to see us and explained that they suspected Scott had something called an "intestinal intussusception" (part of the bowel telescopes up into the adjacent bowel) and that he needed to have IV fluids, an NG tube, and a Barium enema to confirm the diagnosis. I was so happy to have a diagnosis, I didn't stop to think or ask about what would happen if the diagnosis was confirmed. Scott was admitted to the hospital and his hell began.
He whimpered through the IV stick, too weak to even cry anymore, but when they put the NG tube down his nose he found some energy and cried out for me to "make them stop, Mommy--please make them stop". The nurse part of me knew they were taking good care of him; all I could do was just stand at the end of the bed and watch--it broke my heart!. The transport person arrived to take him down to Radiology for the Barium enema and my energy gave out. My husband Dave told me to sit down and rest--he would go with Scott for this procedure. They left, but I couldn't rest; I paced the hallway and prayed. They returned about 30 minutes later and Scott was asleep, but his Daddy was visibly shaken. Once Scott was tucked into bed and IV lines and NG tube secured, Dave told me what had happened.
As Dave waited outside the door of the Radiology suite Scott was in, he heard Scott scream--a horrible, pain-filled scream. A begging-for-it-all-to-stop kind of scream. All he could do was stand there and wait. It seemed like hours, but it was probably only 5 minutes or so, and the screaming stopped. Dave told me it was like he could feel Scott's pain in his gut.
It turned out that the same procedure used to diagnose an intussusception is sometimes what fixes it. The Pediatrician told us later that if that had not worked, Scott would been taken by ambulance to the Children's Hospital for emergency surgery. I was glad I had not known that as I paced the hall--ignorance can be a true blessing!
As I sat in that room that night, I kept looking at that pitiful, but peaceful, little boy in the bed and thinking about how much it had hurt me to see him hurt like that; how much it had hurt Dave to listen to his cries for help, knowing he could not do anything. Scott's suffering was like a knife piercing our hearts, because we loved him so much.
God loves us that way and more. He feels our pain as acutely as we do and He longs to be able to make it all stop; to be able to make it all go away. When Christ walked on this Earth, he demonstrated such intense compassion for those who were sick, forgotten, despised, mourning, and lost. He found them along the roads he traveled. He touched their wounds. He forgave their sins. He cried with them and raised their dead. He experienced betrayal and abandonment, but never gossiped or retaliated. He felt their pain and carried their sins and never, ever complained.
“In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.” Psalm 22:4-5
I know He felt our pain that night. The Father in Heaven watched us tenderly care for our son and knew in His heart what it was like to watch a son suffer. He heard our prayers and spared us the worst outcome and helped us see true peace in the midst of our storm.
Two days later, we left the hospital and headed home with our son. He was weak and worn out and had lost about five pounds in two days--but he was healed. As the three of us sat in the living room, my husband caught my eye and smiled. I smiled back. We were done fighting about money and moving and when to paint. We looked at our sweet boy and realized that we had the most important thing in life right there in that room with us; there was complete agreement on that.