“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." ~ James 1:3
Their infant son Louie has a life-threatening illness. But this story isn’t about him. His fate lies with the healing touch of a God who loves him deeply.
Nor is it about the medical professionals who take care of these little angels. They are heroes, of course.
But it’s the parents who are the superheroes. They use every weapon to fight because their children need them to. They keep going because if they don’t, who will?
I’ve never actually met little Louie, but when I read the Facebook updates about him, it’s easy to feel the enormous, self-sacrificing love that surrounds him. I envision bright, encouraging smiles on their faces as they sit by their son’s bed, praying for miracles.
Parents with hearts like stained-glass windows. Those windows are made of broken glass which when forged back together, are even stronger and more beautiful for having been broken.
Parents who care of seriously ill children don’t have the same luxuries the rest of us have. Every parent carries similar nagging fears: What if something happens to my child? Will I be able to give them all the things they need to live a happy, healthy life? How can I help them realize their full potential? It comes back to one question: Am I enough?
But parents with healthy children can to put those fears on the back burner. We don’t often have to look that terrifying monster in the eye and face reality. But, for Louie’s parents, that’s a luxury they can’t afford. They hold onto frail little hands and face the monster head on. Their pain is deep, but their joy runs deeper. Such selfless courage and boundless faith humbles me.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Louie clings to life - as his own gift to the parents he loves, savoring every moment with his family for their sake, as well as for his own.
For the rest of us who look at these parents and think, “I don’t know how they do it,” know this: It’s not their abilities that are superhuman. It’s their extraordinary love, the intensity of which pushes them out of bed every morning and forces them to keep going, no matter the odds.
I suspect if I spoke with them face to face, they’d say something like: “Please don't feel sorry for us. Love us, support us, talk to us and pray for us. Louie is perfect! He’s never hurt anyone; he only seeks loves and creates it. We mourn for a world that sees only flaws. Suffering helps us all experience joy. Whatever brings you closer to God is a blessing.”
Father God, please bless Louie’s parents and all who love him. Shower them with Your comfort and strength to sustain them as they care for this sweet child. May they trust in You, Lord. Give them the hope, faith, and skill to help nurse young Louie back to full heath, Amen.