Day 121 – When Pain Is Necessary

Day 121.

Today was a good day until about 3:00 p.m. I enjoyed a nice morning run with my boy which was the first time since the BOB blew a flat, talked with my good friend Mitch about the future of our Man Up and Go ministry (gotta wear shades for it), and made a nice early lunch run to Chick-fil-A for a #5 12-ct Chicken Nuggets meal with a large waffle fries and Coke.

I broke from my Spicy kick¬† and went back to an oldie but goodie in the #5 meal, primarily because I was on a business call and knew I wouldn’t be able to eat the meal until I got home – the nuggets are far easier to warm up than the sandwich, and I like my food piping hot.

This phone call also interfered with my ability to take a server picture, and thus, Day 121 lives in infamy, as it’s the first trip to Chick-fil-A without a server photo. Oh, the shame! You’ll just have to take my word that Sandra was working the drive-thru today, and for that of course I’m grateful. She’s certainly one of my faves.

Here is the proof that I did rend myself over to a Chick-fil-A lunch. Delish:

photo 1Now, what happened at 3 p.m. today that made my day turn for the worst? Probably the most gut-wrenching thing a father can witness. I think this picture says it all:

photo 3Ugh. And this was before the crying started. Or should I say screaming bloody murder. Oh it was bad. Absolutely horrible. I broke out into the sweats as I watched my baby cry and cry and scream and scream and look me in the eyes, begging for relief. And yet, there was nothing I could do. But watch. Wait. Pray it would end soon.

The worst part is that they didn’t even get all the blood – only three of the eight vials needed were secured. That’s after trying the other arm and looking for veins in his feet. We just couldn’t put him through any more prodding and called it a day after the second arm. It’s not the tech’s fault either – she has 38 years of experience and clearly knows what she’s doing.

We’ve since learned from other adoptive parents of Ethiopian children that they’ve had a tough time finding veins as well. Of course, it’s probably just a baby problem, not necessarily an ethnic or genetic one. Still, it was really, really hard to be in that room, and knowing that we’ve got to go back for more testing puts a knot in my stomach.

There’s definitely a spiritual parallel here that I would be remiss not to mention. People reject the idea that God exists because they believe a loving God wouldn’t subject His creation to pain. While there are sundry bunny trails to explore on this topic, the idea that God can’t be loving if He allows pain is proven false by the truism that every parent who’s ever lived has subjected, in love, a child to pain. Now it may be said that God is not loving, but it’s not because He allows pain.

I saw that ever so clearly today as my son moaned in pain at the needle poking and prodding his one-year old skin.¬† Our son is an orphan from a third-world country. We have no medical records to speak of. We don’t have a history of health. It’s imperative, for his future well-being, that we subject him to discomfort now so as to eschew a potentially greater discomfort in the future. We do this because we love him.

How many times must God bring us discomfort now in order to keep us from severe pain later? In that regard, it’s easy to see that God can demonstrate His greatest acts of love in what seem to us presently as unloving, uncaring, or downright mean. I’m sure Asher may have thought that about us today.

At least it’s good to know that he had fun in the sink before we made him cry. Small consolation, but I’ll take it.

photo 2

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