When a five-year-old boy breaks his leg, his x-rays may look like this:
From the top, you can see that his femur broke into three pieces.
From the side, you can see that those pieces overlapped one another at a rather painful angle.
… his sister writes him lots of little love notes while nervously waiting in the ER.
My favorite is the one on the top far left. It simply says “Be ok. Be ok. Be ok.” She was so scared.
When a five-year-old boy breaks his leg weeks before summer break, he misses the last three weeks of school, the end of baseball season, VBS, Sunday School, swim parties and 4th of July fireworks, but his cousins may still envy him because …
… he gets lots and lots of toys. His parents instantly relax their strict screens rules and buy him a Wii and a ton of video games. (Best. Purchase. Ever.)
This, by the way, shows only the first batch. His stash continued to grow as the days and weeks passed and news traveled. Ellie got her own stash, too, thanks to friends who insisted she not feel left out.
People he doesn’t even know send him care packages, sweets, notes and prayers.
… he gets his own wheelchair and gets pretty good at driving it.
… he gets a cool cast that glows in the dark.
… he gets to turn Daddy’s office into his Little Man Cave.
… he gets a new haircut. One that is much more sponge-bath friendly.
When a little boy breaks his leg, his parents learn a lot. Like which hospitals have pediatric ERs and which don’t. They learn how to work with medical supply companies, how to use a handicapped commode, how to ask for help, how patience multiplies when your child is hurting, how to wean a child off of codeine, how to quit a job you’ve worked hard to get for the sake of priorities.
They become painfully aware of how many, many buildings are not nearly handicap-accessible enough.
They learn that they’ve only begun to tap the strength of their great God. Each time they think they’ve gone through the hardest thing in their lives, they learn that each mountain, though bigger than the last, still seems surprisingly scale-able.
When a little boy breaks his leg, his mama gets lots and lots of coffee …
… and flowers …
… and tea! And she doesn’t have to cook for weeks. She is completely overwhelmed by the loving kindness of a God who surrounds her, a quite unworthy person, with friends and family, a vast community seen and unseen, near and far from the past and the very recent present.
When a little boy breaks his leg, the time goes quickly for nearly everyone but his parents. For them, time travels at the rate of dog years. They know this is all temporary, but still weeks feel like months and months feel like a year. Then suddenly the end is in sight.
Only six more days to go.
“The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.”
— Psalm 103:8 (NIV)