This has been one of those weeks where I come home and can’t even begin to unload all the baggage my mind has been lugging around. I sometimes feel as if these work weeks are intentionally coupled with busyness outside of work. Keeping me busy enough to keep functioning with very little time to process what’s going on around me and how I’m really feeling inside.
Earlier this week I was down at Children’s Hospital on the something-th floor visiting one of my kiddos who was admitted for a few weeks. As the big glass doors automatically opened towards me I entered onto a beautiful unit that looks more like a magical hotel than a hospital.
Royalty, I thought as I walked down the winding hallway. This place shouts that kids are royalty. That they matter.
Honored. Sometimes I can’t believe that God is still using me and allowing me to get THIS close to families and their inner workings.
Again, I am wondering what the heck I am going to say on this visit. These days I feel like I have nothing to offer anyone, but I choose to keep walking towards the room because I know that all I have to do is show up and God will take care of the rest. He always, always does.
I’m so nervous for a number of reasons, that I don’t really notice all the little rooms I’m passing on my way to visit this kiddo.
I’m sitting across from this parent who is sharing their life story with me and how they got to be sitting in front of me and all I can think is I’m so glad God is the one running this show. I feel like a fraud because I haven’t lived even half the kind of life they’ve lived and they’re trusting me with their kid. I wish I could share with them all the things that run through my head.
Like how I am so honored to be hearing their story. How I am so privileged that they let me into this part of their lives. That we’re going to have to figure this out together because I don’t actually have any magical advice that they haven’t heard before.
But instead I nod and listen and smile a lot. I hope they know that I just genuinely love their child and that’s why I’m sitting here in front of them.
On the way out I notice all those rooms I passed on my way in. The floor is still and I see tiny little people in tiny little hospital crib beds hooked up to machines that go …… beep……. beep……. beep…….. beep…….
Televisions with happy kid shows are playing quietly in the background. The roomy is empty. Just a little kid in there trying to get well.
All of a sudden it hits me how precious this space is.
We all know of kids that are close to us who are sick, or we see a special story pop up in our newsfeed, but here in this place is where all those kids actually are… and where we typically aren’t. I think about how many stories up I am and how many kids are filling rooms just like this in every floor below me. Hundreds of them.
This pretty white magical hotel is saturated with brokenness. Broken families, failing health… not what God intended for His children. I immediately feel undeserving of being in a place so close to God’s heart. I slow my mind down and I talk to God about it. I ask Him to be ever-so-present in each of these rooms and with each of these children’s families.
But God is already at work because He always is. He knows the inner-workings of their bodies. He brought them to the pretty white magical hotel to be cared for and healed. God’s already been working in their lives but He wants me to pray. He wants to make my heart aware of where His heart is. He let me walk through that floor today because He wants to remind me that I need to be praying for so many more kids than just the ones I see on a regular basis.
He just wants me to pray for kids.
Today I learned that a parent of one of my past kiddos passed away unexpectedly. Tears have been coming and going all day. Coming when I think on it long enough and going when my office phone rings or someone needs something.
Tonight, before I write this, they are just coming because there’s no phone to be ringing and no one needing anything. There’s just silence and stillness and the thoughts in my head that need some resolving.
Just a few months ago I was in this person’s living room talking with them about their family.
Now they’re gone.
They were gone much too young and I know without a doubt that leaving behind their babies where they are is the last thing they would have ever wanted.
But here we are and God is still present.
I try to put myself in the shoes of this precious five year-old losing their hero and I can’t really make it much past that.
I wonder where this kid is now and how they’re learning to cope.
I wish I could scoop this kid up and tell them how very much they are loved by someone that hardly knows them… and how forever, deeply loved they are by Someone who created every inch of them out of nothing.
He just wants me to pray for kids.
Will you join me?