9/11 is a day that everyone knows. It involves terrorists, planes and tragedy. It’s hard to think of anything else on that day, but Jesus decided to change that for our family in 2003.
It all happened over several long hours of labor. Not my labor. In fact, I was worthless. I was full of worry, anxiety, and anticipation. I realized I could do nothing to affect the course of events in that hospital room. So I tried to stay out of the way. I offered up a couple of “Good job” moments, but I knew better than to push any buttons or scrub in.
On the other hand, my sweet wife was doing all the work. Nurses a plenty were also pretty useful as they kept watch over all the wires and cords. The monitors recorded everything, and I mean everything. It felt like Mission Control. There were numbers involved, centimeters and such, but that’s as far as I will go. It’s was all very important to assure that we, well she, would have a successful launch, or lift off? It’s one of those.
We had just one slight problem. Our little boy’s heartbeat would drop suddenly with each contraction and then pop back up to normal. As a Daddy, I was praying.
Jesus, do something.
Pretty impressive prayer, right? I mean... they should put that in a book or something. Actually, it felt so lame. Is this all I can do, Lord? Is this the extent of my help here? I wanted to do more than that. I wished I was a doctor at that moment, but I used to get squeamish watching the surgery channel when I was in high school, so that was a “no-go” for me. I was barely holding it together with all of the smells and bells of labor and delivery. So, I just offered my lame prayers.
We would find out hours later that the drop in heart rate was a result of the umbilical (I even have trouble writing that word) cord, which was wrapped around his little neck. So when he finally said “hello world”, the doctor jumped in with his super skills to give that boy some air. I didn’t get to do the Dad thing of cutting said cord. Honestly, I probably would have taken one look and said “That’s ok, you can do it.”
We hadn’t even had one word with our little boy and the fight for his heart to beat properly and stay alive was on. Lord, this is a bit much. Can’t we make this a little easier?
That little boy is 14 now and we are still praying the same things. Jesus, do something.
But, I think I am starting to finally get it. I can’t make his heart beat. I don’t know the depths of the human heart the way our Jesus does. As each of my children hear and see the Gospel each week (hopefully displayed in their parents!), I am incapable of doing the spiritual work that needs to be done. We are completely and utterly dependent on Jesus. This truth goes for all those we love, and especially those we don’t. He alone changes hearts.
David’s thoughts in Psalm 139 bring me great comfort and fuel my prayers for our kiddos:
O Lord, you have searched me and known me... You hem me in behind and before, and lay your hand on me... Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
My prayer today is pretty similar:
Jesus, get ‘em. Amen.