Most of you in my world have probably heard by now about Ava, a four-year-old little girl who has been diagnosed with an inoperable, aggressive brain tumor. I don’t know Ava – I don’t even know her parents – but the sheer horror of the story has captured my thoughts over the last few days. A week ago, they were a normal family. Now, they have little more than hope and prayers to cling to. Not that I underestimate the prayers…if there’s one thing I’ve learned from re-reading the Old Testament, God Is Powerful. He is certainly able.
But as a parent, I find myself mulling over their tragedy for more reasons than one. And I’m not alone, I don’t think. Of course, your heart breaks for this family. But also, when I pray for Ava, I pray for Sam. for other kids I love. and others I want to love someday. The thought HAS to come… if God could allow this to this beautiful good happy family…then who is safe? No one, of course. So somehow I am glued to this story. I want to know Ava will make it, that she will grow up and be happy and safe. But I want more than that. In my heart of hearts, I want God to save this little girl to prove to me and everyone that He will save every little girl. I want to know that no one will suffer that horror – not them, not me.
Of course, we have no such promise.
But I did have a thought…some song lyrics that returned at the right time. It’s the kind of song where I remember the tree I was driving by when I heard it, and even now have to stop what I’m doing to listen when it comes on. The part that makes me cry goes like this:
You see the question isn’t
Are you going to suffer anymore
But what will it have meant when you are through?
The question isn’t are you going to die,
you’re going to die
But will you be done living when you do?
I cry because it’s true. Sadly, death is real. Pain is real. But there is meaning. I trust in the God who makes it mean something.
By the way, the next set of words is good, too.
So run till you cannot take a single step in strength
Then crawl on your hands and knees,
till your hands and knees they ache
And when you cannot crawl
It will be me you call to carry you back home again.
Justin McRoberts, Done Living.
Life hurts, but I’m going to keep loving, keep hoping, and keep working. There is an end, a beautiful end.