Posted by: Michelle Knoll | March 22, 2013

A Tale of Two Kings – An Ominous Confession

The surgeon’s face looked grave.  It took him a while to speak, to form the words he needed to say.  The girl and her husband waited anxiously.  What had he seen?  What was so wrong?

“Your son… he… well…” The surgeon sat back and sighed.  “Look, I should have never said it would be a piece of cake.”  He spread his hands out and then, leaning forward,  placed them on the table, palms up.  The look on his face shook the girl’s heart.  It was as if he was pleading with them to provide for him the confidence he had the day before.

His brow wrinkled as he sighed again.  “Look,” he started again, making a fist with his right hand, “a baby’s heart is almost as big as my fist.  Not quite, but almost.”

The girl and her husband instinctively made fists with their own right hands.

The surgeon continued, as he opened the fingers of his hand and closed them halfway, and repeated the motion.  “The heart is supposed to beat like this,” he said, continuing to repeat the motion.

The girl’s husband responded, and the girl nodded.  They understood the heart’s function.  But what was the problem?

The surgeon stopped speaking.  He stopped the motion of his fingers.  His expression changed.  “Your son… his heart… well, when I opened him up, I couldn’t believe what I saw.”

The girl and her husband waited.  They could tell the surgeon was struggling for words.  He looked at them, and tried to speak, but no words came out.

For the girl, the walls of her Red Sea were towering way over her head, looking very ominous.  Were they going to cave in on top of her?  Dear God, what is he getting ready to tell us?

The surgeon breathed in sharply.  “Your son’s heart is not normal size.”  He spread his fingers out as if he were holding an invisible basketball.  “It’s about the size of a large grapefruit.  And the squeezing I showed you earlier?  His wasn’t squeezing hardly at all.  It was just barely moving.  Just barely.”  His fingers made tiny movements in and out.

In her spirit, the girl heard the angry rumblings of waves.  She held her breath, and waited for the surgeon to finish.

After an intolerable silence, he finally spoke.  “We got the hole patched, which was really big.  I couldn’t go through the blood vessels like I wanted to.  I had to cut into the heart wall – the heart muscle – to get to it.  But it’s done.  But, I have to tell you, I am shocked at what I saw.  And I can’t give you any explanation for how your son grew, or gained any weight at all, or didn’t need any medicines, to reach this point.  As a matter of fact, he shouldn’t be alive.  There is no physical explanation for why he is alive today.  He shouldn’t.  Be.  Alive.”

His words rang through the girl’s heart like the tolling of a bell.  Shouldn’t be alive… Shouldn’t be alive…  Shouldn’t be alive.

Inside, the girl was reeling.  She only heard one other thing in the conversation after that.  Her husband smiled and said, “Well, doc, we know why he’s alive.”  The rest of the conversation blurred into the sounds around them.

Two forces were waging war in her soul.  The force of fear was trying to take hold, attacking with all its might:  He might have made it through the surgery, but you heard what the surgeon said.  Your son’s heart is barely doing its job!  The force of faith was fighting back with every ounce of strength it had:  Look at what has happened!  Look at how God has protected and carried your son through the last ten months!  LOOK at this!

Yes, the walls of water towered over her head, but the path through her Red Sea shone like polished gold.  Oh, what juxtaposition!  Fear against faith; faith against fear.  Pushing against her soul, back and forth.  Is it possible to get seasick without being near an ocean?

The girl’s husband thanked the surgeon and shook his hand. The girl numbly followed suit.  Walking into PICU to see their son, the girl was still trying to force down fear and cling to faith.  Seeing her son resting comfortably helped her mind to clear, her heart to be more at peace.  He was beyond it now.  Beyond the last ten months and the words of so many people who had no faith that the king would survive.  Yes, he was beyond it now.  They were all beyond it now.

He looked so much healthier now, she marveled.  The doc had said he would look different after the surgery, but wow, he really did.  Maybe, perhaps maybe, the largest battle was over.  Perhaps, maybe the entire war.  Yes, the little king’s heart had been in very bad shape.  But God had carried her son through it all, right?  God had parted her Red Sea, right?



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