This morning Jack tripped over his own shoes and smashed his face onto the corner of a door jamb, splitting his lip wide open. Needless to say, there was a lot of crying and a lot of blood. At first, Christy and I were at a bit of a loss on what to do. The main objective was just comforting the poor guy. Thankfully we have a very good friend at church who is a Dermatological PA as well as a Jedi of military medicine, so I called his office and he told me to come on down right away.
What followed was amazing but also very difficult for me. The short version of the story is that within twenty minutes of Jack’s fall, my friend Andrew had Jack all taken care of, with two stitches in his lip and three Toy Story stickers on his shirt. I was thankful, relieved and so glad that I have knowledgeable friends in the medical field! On the other hand, the process itself was torture. I had to hold Jack down on my lap while a nurse stuck a needle in his lip for about 30 seconds. He was screaming his lungs out with a syringe hanging out of his face. Next thing I knew, I was holding him down again while Andrew stitched him up. Jack was straining with all his might against my hold on him and I was doing all I could to keep him steady. At one point, Jack’s eyes met mine and I can only describe the look he gave me as a desperate alloy of confusion and betrayal. It was as if he was saying to me, “Why is this happening to me, and why are you helping them!?!
I tried to hide it from the nurses and my friend, but the whole thing was too much for me. Every scream of pain from my little buddy brought the tears out of my eyes. Hearing the cries for help and watching the little blooms of blood appear on his swollen lip was so hard. My heart was hammering, and even though I knew this was the best thing for Jack, all my instincts told me to scoop him up and run out of the room at top speed before anything else touched him. And then, right there in Andrew’s Dermatology office, surrounded by professionals all doing their best to help my son, it hit me… this is just a little busted lip and in a minute Jack will be fine, but at Calvary, the Father gave the Son, the Son gave His life and nobody called, “Time Out.”
I think about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, rolling around on the ground in the middle of the night, screaming up into the silent sky and saying, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.”
The Father didn’t answer.
The next day, as Jesus was bearing the sin of the world on the cross, He shouted out in a loud voice, frantically petitioning that still silent sky and realizing He was indeed forsaken. I think about the look in Jack’s eyes when I held him down and the pain in my heart as my little boy’s screams cascaded over my own internal struggle, and it was only a couple of stitches! What must the Father have felt on that darkest of days? How did He bear it? How did He endure the pain of His beloved unto death? “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”