Thursday, May 29, 2008

Healed With Love

Ella's senior picture. (actually, she was eating a piece of caramel corn.)

I worry that she will remember. I think of the answers I will have to give to the questions she has about her life. I wonder if she will feel like we made the right choices and did the right things. I look at her sometimes and say “Do you remember? Do you remember the surgeon in his scrubs and the tubes and wires and all the times they pricked your foot? Do you remember, my little Ella?”

I am trying to figure out the difference between the person who is defined by tragedy and the person who can leave their tragedy in the past. Some people are victims forever and some people become successful and inspiring people with a message. What is the thing that lies between that makes their lives turn out so different? What will it take for Ella? What will it be for me?

I was so worried while we were spending Ella’s first weeks of life in the NICU about her feet. The nurses took her blood sugar every two hours for days! Her foot was so swollen and bruised from the IV, that they had to switch it to the other foot, which quickly looked just as bad. Anytime we touched her cute little toes, she would scream and cry and kick. I thought about how she would miss out on one of life’s greatest pleasures because of this pain: pedicures. How I prayed that God could heal her feet and take away the fear and memories.

And I had a hard time seeing how he could do it.

But, he did. And we spent a year trying to heal her with love and touch. I touched her feet with gentleness and smiles throughout her days. We overwhelmed her toes with kisses and tickles. We turned everything into a game where there was no pain or fear, only laughing and only love. And when I held her close, I would cup her feet in my hands and pull them close so she always knew they were safe. And with time, she turned into a little girl who finds pleasure in playing with and chewing on her toes. It’s almost as if she doesn’t remember the pain.

I was spending some time trying to understand all this the other day when I remembered The Healer. Jesus heals rapidly, where things don’t make sense medically or emotionally because of how fast it happened. He also does this other kind of healing and it is something that most people won’t notice and say “Wow, that was a miracle!” This kind of healing is slow in coming. It can be overwhelming and painful. This healing, the one that most of us have known, this looks a lot like love.