I remember sighing as I waked into little Emily’s room that day. It had been a hard day, we’d lost Sara, and Jeffery was making a turn for the worst—I had just come from informing his parents’ that they might want to say their goodbyes.
Work at the cancer wing of Seattle Children’s Hospital was not always fun or joyous. In fact it often was sad and depressing to say the least. So on a day that was already bad I couldn’t bare it if my favorite patient was not doing well.
“Why the long face Dr. Keller?” She called out as she looked at something. Her eyes danced. “It almost Christmas time! And look,” she said holding up a big poster with a young dark hair woman on it. “Francesca is going to be at the Java Jungle today! She’s my favorite Christian singer! I wish she had a CD so I could listen to her, but she’s undiscovered. But I hope I can get my mom to take me. She told me that she has to work though, and isn’t sure if your guys’ll let me go.” She put the poster back looking at it.
“You know, the last show I went to,” she looked back at me with her brown eyes. “She talked to me, and told me that she would make sure I knew when she would be at Java Jungle. You know she’s there a lot. Anyways she come to the hospital last week and gave me this.” she said looking down at the poster.
Jesus meant the world to Emily, though I didn’t much care for him, I didn’t understand how God could let his son do that, and then not care enough to actually take away sickness that he supposedly taken care of by having his son die.
If he had gotten rid of it then why were kids like Jeffery, Sara and Emily sick and dying?
I watch the joy spring to life on Emily’s face as she talked about her favorite singer and then disappear as she realized she probably wouldn’t get the chance to. I looked at her chart, vitals and then her. She was doing well; there was no reason why she couldn’t be snuck out for a few minutes. I was going to be off soon, so why don’t I give this sweet girl her wish.
“You know Emily, I could take you.”
“Really?” her eyes light up again, hope whirling across the features of her face.
“Yes, but I have to get the okay from your mother.” She rushed to get her mother on the phone; once I was given the okay I tucked Emily into a wheelchair and went over to the café across the street. “You think I could get her to sign it? She asked as we left the hospital. I looked at the poster in her lap.
Java Jungle was just that. At the front of the café was a coffee bar, and the place was all deck out with jungle creatures and leafage. Near the back was a small stage and hiding in the folds of cheetahs’ elephants’ trees’ and bushes where table and chairs.
“Whoa.” I said rolling her in.
“I know. Just wait…” she said as I moved in farther. A tiger’s roar and a monkey’s cry resounded in the café.
“Whoa.” I called out again.
“I know amazing. Oh look she’s over there already.” She said point to the stage. I pulled her up close and took a seat as Francesca took the stage. She waved and winked at Emily. She turned to me elated.
“Well, with it being the holiday season and all I thought we’d get in the mood by singing a Christmas song I wrote. It’s called You’re Here.” Her guitar started off before her voice kicked in.
“Hold on now, I gotta take a deep breath
I don’t know what to say when I look in your eyes
You made the world before I was born
Here I am holding You in my arms tonight
Noel, Noel Jesus our Emmanuel.”
She had a good voice, and though I really didn’t much believe in this Jesus like this singer and Emily did, I still enjoyed the time, and was comforted that if just for this time I was able to bring joy to Emily, and that maybe I could believe in Jesus like Emily and this singer does.
—Francesca Battistelli-You’re here—
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