Saturday, February 5, 2011

Not One Sparrow

(Giovanni discovering the joy of raspberries off the vine, Remlinger Farms, Carnation, WA)


Mr. M stayed with us through the surgery.  He and Antonio talked about schools, politics, and churches in the surgery waiting room.  I couldn't sit still.

A nurse had come out from the surgery to tell us that they needed to put in a Broviac, an  intravenous port device that is used for longterm IV care.

It was cold and grey, but I found it strangely comforting.  I went out into the courtyard just outside the surgery waiting room.  I prayed.  I meditated on scripture from memory.  I paced around the walkway.  Then I saw it, lying so still:  A small, delicate bird was ever so silent under a small pile of leaves, as if it had been tenderly tucked in.  It's tiny body was no longer living.

A sparrow had fallen to the cold, hard ground, but I shouldn't fear because He knew the hairs on my son's head. My son was far more valuable to Him than a multitude of sparrows. I begged Him to please let my son live.

Hours passed before the surgery finally ended.  It was longer and more arduous than expected.  We couldn't see Giovanni right away in recovery, so we  sat with the surgeon as he explained what happened. 

The surgeon showed us pictures from the procedure.  Our toddler's lung had entirely collapsed by the time he got into surgery.  The surgeon had never seen a bacteria so virulent, nor a child who masked symptoms so well.  He was incredulous that a child so gravely ill could have Giovanni's tenacity and strength.

The timing of everything that day had been far more critical than we realized. Our son didn't have a few more hours to be sedated for a CT Scan.  He didn't have another second to wait for surgery.  The surgeon had to scrape my baby's lung because phlegm had become encrusted on the surface of it.  And it looked like his left lung was beginning to get pneumonia too.

We have no idea, not even the best and the brightest have an inkling, of how every millisecond with every decision counts.  And I think if we had to carry that realization around with us, it would crush us.  Only He knows the full weight of it all, and He can handle it, from sparrows to nations of men to kingdoms we can't see.

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