I’m a Christian; not one of those Left Behind evangelicals who see the talons of Satan behind every migraine or flat tire or even failed business venture in life. That being said, I can’t help but wonder if that’s not a hint of brimstone I smell in the air these days.
I ‘ve been given three months notice. As of June 30th, we are jobless, homeless and insurance-less. We knew it was a possibility but we had thought that we would dodge the bullet. We were wrong. Of course, three months is plenty of time to hear back from one of the many places that I’ve contacted looking for work. However, this is the in-between time when the acrobat slips off the tight-rope and is waiting to hit the circus floor.
Later, on the day that the news about my job came, when my wife went to pick up our son from school, a boy chased a soccer ball into the street. She wasn’t moving very fast. When she heard the thud of his prepubescent body strike the side of the van, she saw the boy bounce off and shake himself into recovery. All the same, visions of death (the kid’s) and incarceration (hers) flooded her mind and she had to be lead into the Director of the school’s office and calmed with tea and assurances that all would be well.
When she got home, our daughter was covered in red spots. A case of chickenpox was reported at the school, so we expected that it was going around and had hitched a ride home on one of the boys. As the evening wore on, the spots became blotches and my wife took our little girl to the doctor. The much needed good news was that she was probably having an allergic reaction to something she ate. Two days later, there was no sign of recovery so we made an appointment with a dermatologist. The next day, the blotches were fading so we skipped the appointment. Then we discovered that some of them had turned purple.
About an hour ago, my wife was finished with the doctor and told me that he suspected that our little girl has a blood disease called anaphylactoid purpura. No one knows what causes it. There is no medication to treat it. It isn’t exactly deadly, but occasionally it leads to liver and/or kidney damage. We’re waiting on tests to find out if either has occurred in our little girl.
So, let’s recap: we’ve lost a job, struck a child with our van and had our two-year old daughter diagnosed with an uncommon blood disease all in less than one week. While the ball-chaser is fine and it’s unlikely that our daughter will die from this disease, we still have to bear the burden of uncertain job prospects…in difficult economic times at that. What does one say at a time like this?
Expressions of shared sadness are appreciated. Advice is not. Silent, supportive presence is priceless. Ignorant yammering about the mysterious outworking of God’s will or the pernicious work of the devil and his henchmen are worthless. A prayer would be the most helpful thing you could say. After all, when you want action, you always talk to the one in charge…and regardless of how things look, or feel, I still believe that God is in charge.