Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Pearl of Wisdom

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 1 Corinthians 15:50

I’d been working with Andrew on the floor, completing the physical therapy exercises we were supposed to do each day. After Andrew’s initial round of status seizures, he left the hospital paralyzed, just starting to regain the ability to hold his head up independently. He was frustrated with his helplessness and we were devastated with what had happened to his little body. So daily we worked and stretched and challenged, hoping to regain strength and independence.

It was after just such a session that I realized somehow in the process I’d lost one of my pearl earrings. I instantly felt sick to my stomach! Not my pearls! They had been a Christmas present from the boys just months before. I always joked that each earring represented one of my two sons. As I crawled around the living room floor, raking my hand across the carpet, I cried out to God for help, “Not my earring! Please help me find it! You know these are from the boys! I can’t lose it Lord!”

Suddenly I realized that although mentally praying for my earring, my heart was crying the same prayer for my son. “Not Andrew, Lord! I can’t lose my son!” We had no idea what was going on, what had caused his seizure/stroke like episode, what his future would hold. No, I didn’t want to lose my earring, but my surface fears were expressing a deeper struggle in my heart.

Then I touched it. I found it! The pearl stud. In relief I continued to search for the back. That’s when I felt God address those deep questions of my soul. Yes, I’d lost my earring and in many ways it felt like I was also losing Andrew as he struggled to regain the ability to walk and overcome the weakness and lack of control in his left arm. But I had found the important part of the earring, the part with the pearl, the part which mattered, and similarly, I still had the part that mattered with my son. He might have lost some skills, but I still had Andrew, with his sparkling eyes, brilliant smile, and determined spirit. His body control and abilities might be “missing”, just like the back of my earring, but the important part of his personality and character that makes up who he is, was whole and intact, just like the pearl stud I held in my hand.

It was a pearl of wisdom I returned to often throughout Andrew’s illness and again when we returned to the journey with his brother Peter. Even after I had to let Andrew go, this continued to be a comfort because I knew the real Andrew lived on and one day we would be back together. If you are facing struggles with your body or in someone you love, remember the part that matters. This body we inhabit will perish, but our spirit and soul will live on...a pearl of wisdom and eternal value.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Juli,

    You write beautifully. Thank you so much for such a perfect reminder this morning. We will see our beautiful kids again!