Thursday, September 13, 2012

Heal My Child

There are very few things said in Church that make me mad. Unless it is a blatant disregard for the teachings or misinformation, I don't get angry. (Of course, this could be because I haven't heard Mass in 8 years, so I'm never quite sure what is being said!) If I do get upset, it's at the speaker, not the readings.

On Sunday, the Gospel was about Jesus healing a man who was Deaf and had a speech impediment.

 
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man's ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
"Ephphatha!"-- that is, "Be opened!" --
And immediately the man's ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.

(From Mark731-35)
 
I heard the reading and I wanted to chuck the hymnal at the alter, stamp my feet and throw a fit. My son (maybe sons) has a speech problem. It's a disorder, not a delay and while it is not related to Deafness (he can hear) it would still take a miracle to cure.

Tears were in my eyes as I thought of that man suddenly able to speak and hear. I imagined his joy at be able to speak and have people understand him. I imagined how thrilled he must have been to be released from his silent world. When I pictured him, I pictured my son and how he would look at suddenly being able to communicate.

Yet...

Why this man in the Gospel and not my son?

Throughout this journey, I have tried to see all the blessings. I might hate prematurity but I have to count the blessings the journey has given us. While I acknowledge the problems and we work on them, I have to believe that more good has and will come out of this journey. I'm not Pollyanna but neither am I Negative Nancy. I have to have a positive yet realistic view of the matter or I will fall into that pit that is so hard to get out of.

I have prayed, prayed, prayed. I have prayed for guidance, for help, for direction, for the strength to get through one more tantrum, one more poopy preschool diaper, one more this. I have prayed for money (I hate admitting that but there you are) for therapy and for my son to speak. I have never prayed for a miracle.

The people brought him before Jesus for a healing and He did it. I bring my son before Jesus every Sunday and yet he has never been healed.  I have never prayed, directly, for a flat-out miracle for him. I have never had him blessed with water from Lourdes or taken him to a healing Mass. It feels selfish to pray for a miracle cure for Apraxia when there are so many other children who need a miracle cure from much worse diseases, syndromes and disorders.

Is that the problem? I believe God knows in my heart what I want for him but is the fact that I have no prayed for a miracle for him the problem?

I don't know. I do know that God answers prayers- either "yes," "no," or "sorry kiddo, not right now." I know that every prayer I have prayed for my children has been answered in one of those fashions. We have received help, guidance and strength when we need it, in forms that we didn't know we need. I have been held when my hour has been dark and danced in the light.

My boy has made so much progress in the 11 months since he began preschool. His 2-3 word sentences are amazing and the fact that he initates and holds conversations seems like (even if it really isn't) a miracle. He makes eye contact, plays with friends and mostly acts like a normal 3-almost-4 year old.

I may not have prayed for a miracle but I have prayed for my son to have a voice- and he is getting one.

Perhaps the prayer of my heart is being answered and my son is recieveing a complete healing. Instead of one person doing all the healing (like Jesus) Jesus is working through the hands of the therapists, and teachers who work with my son. It won't be a one-person instant healing but there will be a healing . . . just slower, more gradual and with more people than the man in the Gospel.

In spite of my inital anger ("Jesus, you healed him, so why not my baby?") I have to believe a miracle is taking place in my child. I have to believe that he will be healed as much as God wants to him to be, He will be a blessing to others, no matter the strength of his voice.

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