Friday, June 12, 2015

From the Mouth of a Babe: Dear God, Get it Right

A beloved family tradition: the Strawberry Festival held at Monument Circle in Indianapolis.  The proceeds go back to the host church.  We tell ourselves it's for charity.  For charity, we will stuff ourselves with a sugary bowl of delicious.  We're generous that way.

A few days ago, Chris returned from an ER shift.  I greeted him with the usual "How's work?"  I fully expected to receive his pat "fine" response.  It's our usual post-work banter.  As spouses, we have an understanding.  I'm asking to be nice.  Chris is responding to be cordial.  Both of us know there isn't one fiber in my husband's body that wants to chat about work.  Work is best left at work, says my husband. 

But there are those times.  The patients that linger with him for a variety of reasons.  The situations range from the unusual to the tragic.  The stories that stick and prevent him from issuing his perfunctory response.

And so, when I asked about his day, my scrub-clad husband hung his shoulders low and tears welled in his eyes.  He unleashed a quick synopsis of his day: an infant coded in his emergency room and subsequently passed away at the transferring hospital.

"I can deal with adults dying," said my husband.  "It's the kids...."

Enough said.  

I could finish his thought.

Throughout the day, I thought a lot about the family that lost the baby.  I imagined there was a mother and father out there crumbled with grief.  Two sets of grandparents were wallowing in despair.  Were there siblings?  Did they know their doctor was hurting for them too?

At dinner, 6-year-old Collin, aware of the situation, offered up a prayer.  His chubby fingers interlaced and he bowed his head.  

"Dear God," he began.  "Please get it right next time."

Chris and I peeked open our opens and stole glances.  The innocent prayer of a child.  He prayed the prayer we all wanted to utter, but wouldn't.  It seems too irreverent, raw, and unscripted.  We should pray, "Thy will be done"  We don't pray, "You did it wrong."  But, that's how we felt/feel.  But....

God's ways are good.  

All the time.  

How do we teach this to a child when we are still grasping to understand it?

We hold onto that promise.  

God works all things for His glory.  

We tell that to ourselves.  

We pray to believe it.

We hope someday our six year old believes it too.

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