how far love can go

Monday, May 11, 2015

Saturday was my birthday. I went to breakfast with my dad. I spent the day at the ballpark watching my sons play baseball. I went to dinner with my sisters, ate on the patio, and thoroughly enjoyed my lobster cakes, espresso creme brulee, and that lovely white wine that I've already forgotten the name of. Then I came home, sat on the couch beside my thirteen year old son, and helped him process through the news that we had received the night before: one of his teammates, a favorite friend in fact, had been diagnosed with cancer. Not how I would ever choose to end a day of celebration.

My reassurances from the previous months about the likelihood of this friend actually having something serious are now proven false. Our hopeful predictions about the outcome of his coming treatment and recovery seem a little shallow right now. I realized anew that I am so ill-equipped for this parenting thing. I want to tell Ben all of the right happy answers, but we know life isn't like that. I want to give him concrete reasons and explanations, but the truth is, I don't know why. It's not fair. Probabilities aside, I can't promise he'll be fine.

Yesterday, there were tears and prayers and more tears. Today, there's anger. I get that. I wish it were different. Everything in me wants to take away the hard, even though I know that's not best for anyone. But it's my child. I still want to erase the hurt. I want to tell him Jesus makes everything all right.

Instead, what I can do is sit beside him while he cries.

I can give him grace when he's angry.

I can pray with him to the Healer even while I let him research the medical possibilities to his heart's content.

I can listen and be ever grateful that he still wants to process through things with his mama.

I can be with. And I can hope and pray that he learns how to do it from my example because his friend is going to need the same kind of thing. I get to teach Ben that reaching out to hurting people isn't some sort of project, it's friendship. It's compassion. It's following Jesus even into the hard places. It's love.

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