Educating Felicity & Friends
My heart breaks as I stroll into the hospital room, Marguerite, Philomena, and Miguel, in tow. Felicity is too young to have so many tubes running in and out of her tiny body, her small, two-year-old frame lost beneath the hospital gown. She sits on the giant bed hooked up to countless monitors. Her thin golden hair is pulled up into a sloppy pony tail on the very top of her head, large strands escaping to frame her pale face. Her eyes droop with exhaustion. Her lips are peeling, dry and cracked. Tiny white hospital bracelets encircle both of her wrists. I notice the IV in her tiny hand. She looks so frail. Her smile is lost. Having had her adenoids and tonsils removed, she swallows painfully. “Waw,” she whispers, asking for water. As soon as my sister puts a cup of water up to her lips, she refuses with a moan, turning her head away. “Please, Felicity,” my sister begs. “Drink some water. I know you are thirsty. It will make you feel better.” Felicity continues to refuse, whimpering. Ah! If only I could take her suffering away and make it better. In the long run, I know that this agony is temporary and will result in great benefits to her overall health. No more intermittent sleep and restless nights. No more strep throat, ear infections, and sinus infections. No more of the constant drainage from her nose. Perhaps she will finally be able to taste food and breathe easily. Her long-term misery will cease, but she cannot see the big picture. Right now, her only reality is the pain she presently experiences. She doesn’t know when the misery will end. She doesn’t even know that it will end. My heart breaks. I am able to see the big picture. I know that her pain is temporary. I am aware of the long-term benefits of this suffering she endures, but there is no way to make her understand. All I can do is comfort her in her pain. I sit next to her on the bed. She allows me to place her on my lap and hold her. She rests her head on my chest as I rock her back and forth. Before I know it, she drifts off to sleep as I hold her close to my heart.
Like Felicity, in the midst of my suffering I can never see the big picture. Heavenly Father, it is difficult to believe that You can bring good out of my suffering. But, in retrospect I can see that I have become stronger as a result of the most difficult times in my life and the periods of most intense suffering. Father, You don’t want me to suffer, but allowing it, You always use my pain to my benefit. When I suffer, You hold me close to Your heart. You rock me back and forth as I surrender myself with complete abandon to Your care and drift peacefully to sleep in the security of Your compassionate embrace.
The Big Picture