What I Learned From the E.R. Visit of 2008

emergency2I don’t like to “cheat” on blogs and repost previous posts… but the following entry came from a blog that most of you didn’t follow at the time I wrote this.  And anyway, I needed to remind myself again today of these things I recorded back in August… So bear with me.

A few days ago my family paid our first visit to the E.R. since the asthma attack of ’99. Jackson took a hefty chin-first tumble into a mailbox post during a neighborhood baseball game in the cul-de-sac. The injuries he sustained required four stitches, a jawbone x-ray and a foot x-ray. Scott watched the whole thing happen, helpless to prevent it but quick to rescue our bleeding 11-year-old from the cruel mailbox.

One neighbor kid saw something funny about him limping back to the house, screaming and bleeding from the face. I didn’t. So in a rare “mama bear” moment I looked the child in the eye and begged, “IS THIS FUNNY?!” She suddenly decided it wasn’t quite as funny as she originally thought. Hey, we didn’t laugh when she broke her collar bone doing a cartwheel. (“Must’ve been some cartwheel!” my twisted mind suddenly wonders.)

After about an hour-and-a-half in the ER waiting room, Jackson decided that he definitely wanted Taco Bell after he was all stitched up. Turned out, the E.R. doctor was a familiar face who goes to our church. We were so happy to see him! He did beautiful work. And he was even kind enough to pretend not to notice the rubber glove I had just blown into a turkey-shaped balloon seconds before he walked in. I’m sure that’ll end up on my billing statement, but it was well worth the laugh I got from Jackson.


At last… around 9 PM we headed for Taco Bell, which was literally swarming with adolescent energy. A couple bus-loads of sunburned high school students had been brought from somewhere – prison for all I could tell – and they all came hungry for Taco Bell just moments before we arrived.


As we waited… and waited for #232 to be called, the topical numbing cream began wearing off Jackson’s chin. Luckily I had thrown ibuprophen into my purse before we left for the E.R. and Jackson slugged a couple down with some Pepsi. (Whatever mother-of-the-year points I might’ve earned by remembering the ibuprophen were clearly nullified by letting him take them with Pepsi.)


Then, while we waited some more, I watched the tattooed, pierced, hormone-raging swarm of teenagers around us and it began to sink in on me that these were the people with whom my freshly-stitched child would be going to school in just three short years. I began feeling the need for smelling salts. Luckily, about the time I started asking Scott to look into homeschooling for high school, I heard a muffled voice calling out “232”. We grabbed our bag of tacos and meximelts and raced to the van.


From the kid who laughed at my bleeding child to the swarms of them who dropped “F” bombs all over Taco Bell, today contributed considerably to my long list of reasons why I want to hand-pick the people who influence my children – and me, too, for that matter!


I was never a conformist and I don’t understand why anyone would choose being cool or funny over being kind. God help me if I ever choose to maintain a certain image over caring about another human being. I guess today was one more reminder among many others that we live in a seriously fallen world with an enemy who loves to laugh when we bleed. But for every discouraging stab he has dealt in my life, there have been many more reminders that the Great Physician is always on duty and eager to bind our wounds and administer healing.


I guess I’m not talking about stitches anymore. I love how our Healer reveals Himself through everyday things. What a privilege it is when He interacts with us in the trenches. Even today, he has reminded me that human failings – mine or anyone else’s – will never be stronger than Him. I’ve seen Him through friendships, through prayer, through music and authentic conversations, and I’m pretty sure I saw Him in the E.R. I didn’t necessarily see Him inside Taco Bell, but I know He was there somewhere. And without Him, that would’ve been (yet another) really bad day. Instead, I’m more convinced than ever that he MUST be everything He claims to be and more to win at the end of the Book when there are so many forces working against Him.


He’s the one I want binding my wounds and healing my brokenness!

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