i read to my children every day around the table at our breakfast/lunch times. people, this is a joy! for everyone. they often set the book at my "place" at the table while i am getting our food ready.
recently, we made a trip to our local library to pick up some new material, only to walk up to the automatic doors and find they wouldn't open! our library has changed their hours to open at noon 2 days/week:( boo!
so with that, i took them to barnes&noble. because i was now shelling out money for our reading material, i chose a couple of award-winners. i bought a book called "The Door In The Wall" by Marguerite de Angeli, not really knowing what it was about.
now i need to shift gears and explain to you about my second son. he was born with several vertibrae of his spine fused together on the right side only. we didn't know until he was 3. he looked perfect until he grew enough to cause curving in his back where the connected vertabrae wern't able to seperate. we saw the very best doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital because his case was so complicated. he told us our son would need surgeries later on, but for 4 years we went back to Hopkins every 6 months to monitor how it was progressing.
this february, we went up like normal and got the wind knocked out of us when the doctor said that we had to start his surgeries now. like NOW. we had 1 month to be exact. how do you prepare a 7 year old boy for something that you have never been through? we prayed. and prayed. and prayed.
every once in a while, i would get a glimpse into his little heart when he would blurt out a question that had been troubling him. these weren't "i'm scared of the surgery, or scared of the pain" questions. these were the questions that 100% of humanity has to graple with. the difference is, most of us do it as adults.
he asked me why God made him this way.
how could God love him so much and make him go through this? (he will eventually have about 20+ surgeries over the next 10 yrs.)
if God was there when he was being formed inside me, why did he mess up on him?
i cried. and prayed. and cried.
i tried to answer him the best i could. God is good. he makes no mistakes. he works all things for your good. mysterious as it is, this is part of his plan for you.
i prayed for the spiritual struggle that my 7 yr. old was going through. isn't the physical hard enough for him to deal with??? eventually, the Lord gave him peace about all of his questions, doubts, and fears.
he is now limited somewhat as to the kinds of physical things he should be doing. no contact sports. no wrestling with daddy or big brother. no tree climbing. no tag, because he could get shoved to the ground accidentally...he forgets, i remind hime, and he comes down out of our tree. we are looking for things that he can do instead. he knows that his dream jof flying jets in the air force will never happen. he knows that he will never be a star athelete.
...now back to our book...
this book is about a 10 year old boy who is supposed to go off to train to be a squire and eventually, a knight. he falls ill the day before departure, and his mother and father aren't around. he loses the use of his legs. he is no longer able to play with the other children. he is limited as to what he can do. he is bitter and in danger of despairing. a monk from a nearby church hears of his plight and takes him to the church to care for him. the monk encourages him saying "there is always a door in the wall". over the course of the next few months, the monk shows him how to carve, read and write. these are doors in the wall, he explains. the friendly monk takes him swimming in the river to strengthen his upper body. eventually he is strong enough to use crutches. it's not like running on your own 2 feet, but it is indeed another door.
eventually, the boy, monk and a friendly minstrel make the journey to take the young boy to the household where he was supposed to be trained for knighthood. he worries as he journeys what they will say about his being crippled. when he is recieved, the great Sir of the castle tells him that everyone can do something with what God has given them. that's all he is expecting from him.
in the end, it is because this little boy is a cripple that he is able to slip past the enemy of an invading army, he swims across a river and is able to get help. he saves the town and castle under seige.
i kept choking back tears through the whole book. as unpolite as it was, i read with big bites of sandwich in my mouth to disguise the emotion. i am sooo easily brought to tears! especially when it's children. especially when they are disadvantaged. especially when they are mine.
i am praying that God will show us what my dear little ones "door in the wall" is and how we can help develop his strength in those areas. perhaps through my sons physical weakness, God will chose to show Himself strong.