Monday, October 12, 2009

How To Think

Ethan had another speech appointment yesterday, as part of his "interim" speech and OT before the Birth to 3 stuff kicks in. We go over in Glastonbury, at an outpatient office for Connecticut Children's Medical Center. They've got all kinds of offices connected by the same waiting area, so there are kids with broken arms alongside those going for speech or having their heart imaged. I saw a little boy who appeared to be deaf. I look at the kids and their harried parents and think, "People are going through all kinds of things." It's not just me. It's not just anyone.

Then I was reminded of a Philip Yancey book I read not long ago, where he interviewed a famous Christian doctor who has spent his life working with people who have leprosy. Yancey had asked him the typical question, along the lines of why he thinks God would allow such horrifying things to happen to people, in their bodies. The doctor didn't even want to entertain that. Rather he chose to marvel of the complexity of our bodies; the intricacies of our design; about the amazing confluence of factors that have to happen in order to create a life. The greater question, this doctor thought, is how it is that so many of us come into being at all, and without substantial physical defect, when the odds, just approaching it from a scientific sense, against that happening are so great.

I watch the speech therapist watch and work on teaching Ethan and I wonder what she thinks of him. They didn't tell me, in either the speech appointments or the OT evaulation he had, "oh, he's at this level, and we're going to work on getting him to that level." They just start working. So I sit and wonder, "What do you see in him?" "What is his potential?" But I don't want to ask, because if they don't believe in him the way I believe in him, I don't want to hear it.

Every day, sometimes many, many times a day, I have to remind myself of the trouble I borrow when I spend too much time imagining. I imagine what the therapists might be thinking, imagine Ethan in 5 years or 10 or 20, imagine mean exclusions from people that haven't happened...all sorts of things. And since I'm working on a Bible study based around the same topic, all I can think as I look at my brain at the present and past is that I've expended so much energy thinking about things that never happened. I think we truly can handle any thing God hands us, if we are taking it one day, one moment, one breath at a time. Why have I so often borrowed trouble? Thankfully, through a most unexpected way, I have an opportunity to learn with Ethan. He is learning how to communicate, while I relearn how to think.

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