Thank you everyone, for all your prayers and words of encouragement. It’s been a rough couple of days but we’re all home safe and sound, just with about a quarter of a toe less than we had in the family on Friday afternoon. If you’re unaware, my second son, Owen, lost part of his toe Friday evening (you can read about it here).
We were told that the surgery would be Saturday morning at 10:00am. around 9:35 or so, the nurses came in to get him and started wheeling him out of the room when another nurse came in and said: “STOP! We just got a call from the Operating Room.” All of the nurses filed out of the room for a couple of minutes and came back in saying: “We’re so sorry but his surgery has been re-scheduled for 7:00pm. But, hey, look on the bright side, he can have something to eat now.”
As parents, we were slightly perturbed. My cynical side thought something like: Oh sure, the surgeon’s tee-time was moved and now we’ve got to pay a ton more money to stay here that much longer and Owen’s already nervous and this just prolongs it!
So we passed the day in nervous waiting, playing iPad games, watching the Olympics and trying to focus on a sermon on the entire book of Leviticus. 7:00pm finally came and he went in to surgery. He was in surgery for about 15 minutes when the power went out and anxiety drowned my heart. As the generators immediately kicked on, I thought of something the surgeon told us as we met with him for the Pre-Op consultation. He said: “I’m so sorry you got rescheduled but we had a catastrophe in which a child lost an arm.” Oh man. I am such a jerk. I am (still) so sinful. I was angry. I was irritable. I was resentful. I didn’t believe the best. I didn’t hope the best (1 Corinthians 13). I didn’t cast my anxieties on Him (1 Peter 5:7).
Thinking about his words and the look of sorrow in that doctor’s face, repentance hit me like a ton of bricks as I listened to the hum of florescent lights. It put things into perspective. What we were going through disrupted our family and will be something we deal with in various ways for a while. But this little child lost an arm.
Moments of crisis, both large and small, are pivotal. They are spotlights on the soul. Prior to Friday, I had thought my soul was in a fairly good place. I was reading, I was praying, I was focusing on joy, humility and gratitude. But then I was reminded that, though I had been focusing on faith, it had been a while since I had truly repented. I had forgotten that faith and repentance always go hand in hand. I had focused on faith issues without searching my heart and walking in continual repentance.
Owen has already talked about how we can’t wait to forget this whole incident. We jokingly told him that every time he looks at his left foot, he’ll be reminded. He sighed and rolled his eyes. I understand why Owen might not wear flip flops for a while. But I want him to understand why, from now on, whenever I look at his one shorter toe, why I might get a little misty eyed, thinking of how God used a chopped-off toe to remind me of His pursuing love and unending grace.
I don’t normally use my blog to promote my sermons, but you might be interested in hearing the sermon I preached on what I learned from Owen’s Infamous Toe Incident. Listen here.