Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)
TITLE: Night Watch
By Kristen Hester
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“His brain pressure is at 14 right now,” the doctor had reported after he removed a massive blood clot from her son’s head. “That’s good. We need to keep it under 20. The next 72 hours are critical.”
So she stared at the numbers.
Nurse and doctor stared at the numbers, whispering, consulting and planning. The doctor spoke gibberish to the nurse. She nodded then adjusted buttons and shot liquid with a fat syringe into one of the many tubes hanging from the small, lifeless form.
She wasn’t medical, but she wanted to question the nurse’s every action.
Are you sure that’s the right IV? Did you check that dosage? Why is that beeping?
Hours passed as she stared at the glowing digits. Sometimes her body would betray her and her eyes would shut, only to be awakened to the nightmare by an alarm indicating her son’s brain and life were in danger.
She felt the form at the other end of the bench shift. Her eyes never left the monitor, but she was comforted to know someone shared her sorrow. His presence gave her courage to ask the question she’d been afraid to vocalize.
“Do you see kids in this situation recover?” She was hoping for some reassurance.
“It’s possible,” the scrub-clad brunette stated as if discussing the chances the local weatherman would get the forecast correct. “But anything’s possible.”
It wasn’t the answer she had expected. Her body went cold, but she didn’t move a muscle. She couldn’t meet her husband’s eyes, so she continued the tortuous task of staring at the numbers, listening to the alarms, and praying, pleading, begging God.
Lord, please.... Lord, please... Lord, please...
Only occasionally would she glance at her son. The respirator forced his chest to move up and down in an unnatural way. The thick tube down his throat displaced his tongue, which now hung out his mouth over cracked lips. Numerous bruises on his thin arms, hands and feet reminded her of the struggle his stubborn veins had given the IVs. The numbers were horrible, but the sight of her still and silent son was worse.
She tried to stay focused on praying, but her mind was weak.
I don’t know his favorite song, so if he dies I won’t know what song to play at his funereal?
Lord, please let me talk to him one more time to say I’m sorry for being frustrated with him yesterday.
All the hours I spent helping him overcome dyslexia will be in vain if he’s brain damaged.
A transport team arrived with the morning to take him for another cat-scan. He’d lived through the first, most crucial 12 hours. As they wheeled him out, she began to follow but suddenly felt an onslaught of emotions that she’d denied since the words, “We’ve called life-flight.” Quickly she turned and shut the bathroom door just as the sobs escaped.
When she opened the door, she was alone in the hospital room. She walked with her head down to the waiting room. She heard a familiar voice call her name.
She looked up to see three friends from her church. They had left their small town at dawn and driven two hours to offer comfort. They wrapped their arms around her. They were hurting for her, with her. They held her hands and they prayed, interceded for her.
“Lord, you are in control. You are sovereign. You have the power to heal this child. We ask you to bring him complete and total healing.”
She held tight to her friends. She held tight to her God. He was in control. He loved her son, too, and he knew what it was like to lose a child. No matter the outcome, God reigned. She released her sorrow to Him and felt His peace and His presence.
He’s yours Lord.
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