Last night I was helping Aaron turn down his covers as he got ready for bed. Sometimes there is a moment that is especially poignant with Aaron. A moment that hits me in a profound way…..in a way that causes me to remember where we were and what we were doing when the moment occurred. The night before, Aaron….for whatever reason…..was very groggy and dizzy, with slurred speech and unsteady legs. He was still trying to talk, but with great effort.
Last night, though, Aaron was his usual chipper self. We were going through his bedtime routine as he talked and talked and talked. He brushed his teeth, swished his mouthwash, helped me set up our diffuser – which means he poured in the water, checked the name of the oil, and took a little tentative sniff – watched as I turned on the baby monitor we use to listen for seizures, made sure I picked out his clothes for the next day and that they were on the back of his desk chair, put his back scratcher and hand towel on the seat of his chair, blinds lowered, desk clock turned around so the light doesn’t bother him, glasses put just where they belong, wrist watch put right beside his glasses, shoes in front of the closet, stuffed animals precisely in place in his bed, covers pulled up, and animal print blanket put on top of the bed exactly right and with no wrinkles. It’s a process…..done precisely….or we must re-do the process until precision is reached.
It was when we were standing beside his bed, me on one side and Aaron on the other….pulling up his covers…..that Aaron said this:
“Mom, guess what Shauna is getting?”
Shauna is one of his friends at his day group, Paradigm.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “What is Shauna getting?”
“She’s getting a NEW wheelchair!” Aaron answered.
Aaron had no idea of the impact of his simple answer to my question, and of the many thoughts that cascaded through my mind in a split second. He just kept talking.
“I told her she should get a PINK one!!” he exclaimed, and then laughed at the thought of a pink wheelchair.
We smoothed his animal print blanket then. He was finished with pink wheelchairs and had moved on to his bedtime log book…..his notebook in which he writes down the exact time he gets in bed and the exact time the next morning that he gets out of bed.
That’s the time he wrote.
So was it 10:22 when Aaron spoke of Shauna’s wheelchair? Or 10:21? That fact would be important to Aaron.
But all I knew, after our goodnight hug and after I had turned out his light, is that my 33 year old son was happy about his friend’s new wheelchair. That was nice of him. But…..
Aaron wasn’t talking about his friend’s new car. Or new job. Or new house.
He was talking with pleasure about her new wheelchair……because his friends have special needs, like he does…..and a new wheelchair is indeed a big deal.
But as Aaron’s mother, this comment from him somehow yanked open that little door in my heart that I try to keep closed. I try to keep it closed because I don’t want to hurt for him or for his friends. I want to see his life as a wonderful thing, and it truly is!
But the reality of his life…..and the lives of his day group friends…..is far different from your typical 33 year old young man. Most young men Aaron’s age would be talking about new cars. Aaron was talking about new wheelchairs.
I’m so happy that he was happy for Shauna. But my momma heart got a deeper little crack in it last night.
I haven’t been writing lately. I’ve just been very burdened about lots of issues. Life goes in cycles like that, you know. As a Christ follower, I know to be careful during those down seasons. It’s very easy to be consumed with the here and now, and with all my own worries…..not to mention the serious concerns for some in my family and some of my friends…..and even our great country.
So I’ve asked God to do what I have often in the past asked Him to do, and that is to give me some extra special assurance from His Word. And God did just that a few days ago. He gave me a sweet message from His Word, ABOUT His Word.
It’s from Isaiah 8. Israel was facing dark times, and so God told them lots of truths about how they were to behave, how they were to act, Whom they were to obey and to fear, and even warned them about seeking answers from mediums and fortune tellers.
And then in verse 20, God said to Israel: “To the teaching! And to the testimony!”
Yes, that’s it!
Where do I need to go when I’m overwhelmed with burdens…..with darkness…..with struggles…..?
Where do I go when the reality of Aaron’s life makes my heart sad?
To a book? To a person? To an activity? To food? To entertainment?
To the teaching! To the testimony!
In other words, to God’s Word. Staying in my Bible. Reading it with purpose, asking God to open His Word to me and give me direction….this is where I need to go.
Dale Ralph Davis, in his book Stump Kingdom, says it so well:
“Only the light of the written word will carry us through the darkness of our times. This holds true whether the ‘times’ are dark historical times, dark personal times, or even the end of our present time.”
Davis then told about Robert Bruce, an old minister in the Kirk of Edinburgh, who on the day he died asked his daughter to set his finger on the last two verses of Romans 8: “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“These words – that is always the Christian’s slogan. Only in the teaching and the testimony is there light and help and anchorage. The Christian is the man or woman who wades through the affairs of life always saying: ‘Set my finger on these words.’”
Wades through the affairs of life……the unexplainable, the sad, the hard, the heavy.
I must wade through it all with my finger on God’s Word. No other substitute will give me the peace and the comfort that I will find as I read what God says to me in His Word.
I can’t tell you why Aaron has special needs. I won’t say it doesn’t hurt, sometimes more than others.
But let me tell you about God. Let me tell you about His love. Let me tell you that He is sovereign. Let me tell you what He has written.
“To the teaching! And to the testimony!”