Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BROKEN (12/06/18)
TITLE: A Shattered Dream
By Laurie Staples
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The day they gave us the "low down" on Brett, they ushered us into a little room with a conference table. They placed a box of Kleenex in front of us (not exactly a hopeful sign). Various specialists filed in and took seats around the table. Each of them spoke about Brett's deficiencies in their various fields of expertise. It was all way over our heads, they may as well have been speaking in Greek for all the sense it made to us.
Bob never uttered one word. What was there to say? Thanks for being so thorough? For dashing every hope we might have had that you could have been wrong about him? At the very end of their long technical spiel, they asked us if we had any questions.
I asked if there was any chance he could be normal. The female neurologist who answered appeared exasperated by my question, as if I'd been caught not paying attention in class. Had I "checked out" or what? Of course there was no chance of his being normal. I didn't ask any more questions, it seemed to me like the less we understood, the better we'd be able to accept it all.
When we brought him home, I’d plunk him in front of the TV and play Baby Einstein videos.
“Doesn’t seem like he’s watching it? I’d ask everyone who came to see him.
It’s amazing how much you can talk yourself into believing something that you really, really want to believe.
He was about five months old when I took him to see the ophthalmologist. I was sitting in the examining chair with Brett on my lap while he took various items out of his little black bag. He had lights, bright colored cards, strips of back and white cloths and other trinkets. He peered into Brett's eyes and tried to get him to follow a light or track some of his gadgets. I could see Brett wasn't "passing" any of the exercises.
"He doesn't seem very interested, does he?" I offered lamely.
"It's not a matter of interest," the doctor answered. "It's a matter of instinct."
Whatever! He instinctively knows he's not interested, okay?
We were both silent as he put all his gadgets back in his bag and wheeled over to his computer to input the sad results. I've learned to sense when I won't like the answers, so I don't ask the questions.
I knew it was time to stop playing the Baby Einstein tapes when I'd gone from wondering which one I thought he enjoyed the most to which one seemed to make him cry the least.
Thinking of Brett's lack of response to us made me think of how guilty I am of not responding to God's devotion to me. Everyday my needs are met, mercies are given, grace is extended, encouragement is given (often in delightful and unexpected ways), and He is with me. Yet, how often do I acknowledge Him throughout my day? I am quick to run to Him when sadness overwhelms me or worries overtake me, but what about the rest of the time? What's really cool about acknowledging God's goodness is that He has made us to benefit from it. Praise and thankfulness lift us up and strengthen us. Numerous current best sellers, Christian and secular alike are now acknowledging the emotional and mental benefits of gratitude. "In everything give thanks: for this is God's will for us in Christ Jesus." 1 Thess. 5:18 (NIV)
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