Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Humbly Yours - by Valerie Crawford, Contributing Writer

LORD allow me to decrease and YOU to increase and receive all the Glory here on these pages. Let the words that flow from and through this writing serve to provide strength, peace, and hope for another. Edify and strengthen them and me and we will continue to give YOU all the Honor and all the Glory and all the Praise, in the Matchless Name LORD JESUS.

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River … 5(b) As I was with Moses so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:1, 2, 5(b)

A couple of weeks ago, as I was preparing for work, I heard the tear-jerking news of 15-year-old Jason Lockhart, who was hit in the face by a baseball and had been placed on life-support. I have been following his progress ever since I heard his story. My heart went out to the family of this young man in an extremely personal way. 

My youngest son David is a baseball player and has held a ball in his hand since – forever. When he discovered that there was a thing called “Little League” he would not stop asking until we found a team for him to play on. He loves baseball. David has played Little League, high school, and travel baseball. But when he was a Junior in high school, something happened that rocked our family to the core.

On David’s 17th birthday, I was home helping my other son, Daniel get ready for prom. I was beginning to wonder what was taking David so long. He had a ball game in Baltimore, MD but was supposed to be on his way home to get ready for prom. Certainly, that coach knew how important prom was! He needed to get those boys back home so they could get ready. They were teetering dangerously close to being late to pick up their dates.

Then my phone rang. It was David’s Dad. “Hey – I’m here at the school picking David up. We’re on our way, but I need to let you know, he’s had a little accident.” I remember a long pause – the kind that comes anytime someone mentions the words “accident” and “your child” in the same sentence. I started blinking really hard and really fast and I declare, I felt the top of my head pop off and flip over!

“What? What do you mean – accident? Is he okay?”

“He’s fine”, Dad said, “but he took a ball to the face and he has a black eye, but I knew I couldn’t bring him home like this without warning you first.”

Apparently, the catcher had gunned the ball to stop the runner at second base and David, at shortstop, was covering second base (oh, yes – Mommy knows baseball, too). That ball, which was traveling at about 60 miles an hour, tipped off of David’s glove and hit him in the face between his nose and his right eye. I recall my father once explaining to me that the windows at the top of the Washington Monument are sealed shut because if someone got it in their head to drop a penny (or a pebble) from the window, the speed/motion of that object could crack the concrete below. That said, anything traveling at 60+ miles an hour, and certainly a professional grade baseball, is going to leave a mark. 

Instead of the “black eye” David’s Dad told me that he was bringing home to me, I opened my door to orbital fractures, a broken nose, and a possible concussion! 

I took one look at my son and almost screamed. I couldn’t though because as soon as he saw me, David did what a real man is allowed to do when he gets to the safety of his Mother’s arms. He let his guard down and cried. And I did what any real baseball Mom would do to try and let him know everything was going to be okay. I asked him, “Did you tag the boy out? No? Okay – let’s get some ice and clean you up. You can’t cry anymore – it will make your headache worse.”

I called my health plan and the on-call doctor allowed him to go to the prom where his brother and girlfriend kept a close eye on him and immediately after, we spent the rest of the night in urgent care completing X-rays, MRI’s and CT-scans. The rest of the weekend 
 indeed, the rest of the following week, I kept peeking in his room, making sure he was breathing; whispering his name to make sure he would stir for me. With every deep breath and every slight motion my son made, I had to thank GOD again. The ball “tipped the glove.” And that slowed it down – just enough.

Monday morning we started the intense doctor appointments. He had to see an Ear-Nose-and-Throat Specialist, an Ophthalmologist, and a Surgeon. They had to make sure that the orbital bones surrounding his eye had not shattered 
 which would require reconstructive surgery; they had to make sure that the socket had not been displaced which would require reattachment surgery.

Now, of course, I had been praying since before I heard “little accident.” But when we went on Monday and they had all the specialists lined up, I looked at my son and said, “You know Mom is always praying for you, right?” When he replied "Yes." I told him, "Okay – good. Now it’s time for you to pray for yourself.”

It is good, so good to have prayer warriors that will stand in the gap with and sometimes for you. But it is so important to have your own relationship with the FATHER.

I wasn’t there, but I can imagine that even though Joshua was a fighter, it had to be a bit overwhelming when Moses died. His leader – was gone. The one he had followed out of Egypt – was gone. The one who had trained him and encouraged him and had gone to GOD on his behalf and gotten results – was gone. And I wasn’t there, but I can imagine how comforting and what a relief it must have been when GOD the FATHER told Joshua, “Yes – Moses is gone, but the same way I was with him, I will be with you also!” How reassuring and encouraging it must have been when GOD kept HIS promise to be with Joshua and rolled the waters of the Jordan River back, just as HE had for Moses.

David knows Mom can get a prayer through. He'd seen the results of her prayers answered. But now it was time for his own relationship with the FATHER to be tapped. Of course, I was praying for my baby. I was praying hard. But I couldn’t pray the concerns that were in my son’s mind. It was time for David to KNOW GOD for himself. It was time for David to recognize for himself that GOD not only knows how many hairs are on his head, but that HE has numbered each one. David needed to realize that, not only can GOD call him by name, but that HE recognizes his ‘voice.’ My son needed to come to the reassuring realization that, “The same way I am with your mother, I am also with you, David.”

In the days following my son’s accident, we got several call-backs from each doctor’s office. Each call was similar to the previous one: “No surgery will be necessary.” When that last office called and I shared the news with my child, I watched that familiar expression of “a Peace that passes all understanding” come over my son’s face. And I couldn’t resist asking him, “How does it feel to get a personal response to your own request from GOD?” He just smiled and shook his head. And I smiled, too. He had no words, but I understood. What do you say when you find out that GOD really does recognize your voice? Nothing. You just smile and shake your head in awe … or dance … or take a lap. My David had learned that the same way that GOD was with Moses (and Mom) HE is also with him … because HE promised.

**Let’s not forget to remain in the gap for Jason and his family. Because contrary to what some may think – baseball is a contact sport!**

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