This morning Randall spoke on the passage from Mark 5 – the story about the hemorrhaging woman and Jairus’ daughter. He shared his own experience of having a daughter who was sick enough to die.
Last week in the telling of stories as we sat and remembered my father, my brother brought back to my memory my own illnesses as a child, and how Dad worried about me. I can remember the days of being ill; the nurses coming to our home to give me the dreaded penicillin shots – from which my fear of injections developed – to the nights spent under a makeshift tent in my parents’ bed being steamed for the croup. I mostly remember my mother in those days – lying beside me as I was so terrified and making those horrible poultices that were applied to my chest. I didn’t know that they were actually afraid that I was developing TB. My father must have prayed for me then.
Then a few years later there was another winter full of illness for me. I succumbed to all the usual childhood illnesses that year and on top of them all, Rheumatic Fever. Mostly I remember the hospital stay and the long absences from school. I think my parents must have spent hours in prayer for me again.
I wonder sometimes what God did. Those years of illness passed. I grew to be strong and independent, rarely ill, my heart not damaged by the Rheumatic Fever. It is something I rarely think about, almost taking my good health for granted – almost but not quite. Nowadays, I wonder what God did. I think I know and I am awed both by the love of my parents, their persistence in prayer for me and above all by the love of a God who cares even for sick little girls.