It was a minor injury, really. Sawyer was riding his bike one minute and was on the pavement the next, and I didn’t expect there to be any kind of real issue beyond yet another scraped knee. In his lifetime he has spent every stretch of warm weather covered with the scrapes and bruises that come with testing the limits of boyhood. But this time, when he stood up, I took one look at his knee and recognized right away that this was an injury beyond what I am equipped to fix. I may have a boy mom playbook in my brain, etched there by necessity through the years, but I knew there was no page that would show me how to make this busted knee okay again.
So Sawyer and I found ourselves in the odd position of needing to go to the emergency room in the middle of a pandemic. I’ll be honest: there was hardly any thought of the virus passing between us because we had this very immediate, very messy situation right in front of us, and it seemed obvious that we had no choice but to go to the very spot where one might run if they had a suspicious cough. This, after I hadn’t allowed my children to see so much as the inside of the Dollar General for all these weeks. It wasn’t a scenario I imagined myself living out during such a time, but here we were.
On the short drive to the hospital, I prayed for Sawyer. He was understandably upset, knowing that he would surely be meeting with multiple needles and all sorts of unknowns as soon as he got there. While I prayed I heard his breathing even out. There’s something settling about prayer. God grants peace to His children when we need it. He knows every hair on Sawyer’s head, and He knows and cares about a boy’s busted knee on a Thursday afternoon in 2020. Knowing God is a blessing.
When we pulled into our parking space at the ER, we put on our masks, and I helped Sawyer hobble inside. The sweet nurses ushered us into a room, and I sat next to my only son while he writhed in pain and dreaded what was coming next and told me that he wasn’t sure he could do this. I felt completely calm and confident, knowing of course that he could and would do it, as we all do when we must.
In the quiet times while we waited, I looked around the room and saw all of the life-saving instruments within reach. I kept thinking about how quickly life can change, about how completely grateful I was to be in this room for stitches, with a perfectly healthy boy who will heal quickly. I thought of a blogger I follow who, like me, was hiding out in her house last week, praying that she might protect her children from this virus. She, too, wound up in an emergency room. And she discovered that while she was shielding her two year old daughter from the illness that has stopped the world, that baby was about to be sidelined by a brain tumor. How could the sweet mother have known that the real enemy was already in her house, and had been for some time? She couldn’t have.
But God knew. He knew and He was already working and already preparing them in ways that they probably couldn’t even name today. All of these thoughts were running through my mind as I sat there, holding hands with my growing boy, thinking about God’s providence and His goodness and His absolute power to carry us through anything that we face.
Sawyer, of course, was able to handle more than he thought he could. He endured all of the pain and the fear and the blood and the needles. He limped out of the ER with a story to tell. When the worst of the pain came over him, he kept his eyes clenched tight and asked me to pray again, so I did. It’s a comfort to know the Lord, and Sawyer already understands that.
Late that night I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about sitting by the hospital bed of my freckle-faced boy. I kept picturing that precious two year old who is fighting for her life. I remembered the pictures her mother had posted, the way her curly baby hair fell gracefully on the kid-sized hospital bed while she slept. I remembered that dear mama’s words. She wrote about how Jesus is sustaining them, how He is using His people to hold them up, how He is granting His peace even now. I wondered how many prayers that devastated mother has whispered as she holds her only daughter’s hand.
I prayed for her and for her little girl, remembering that God is always working while we’re worried about other things. That He is always pouring out grace and mercy and peace on His children. That He is just as enamored with Sawyer’s freckles and that sweet baby’s curly hair as their mothers are. That He loves them more than we ever could. And as my eyes finally started to grow heavy, I was simply overwhelmed by His goodness and generosity. He doesn’t let us walk through anything alone, not something as soul-crushing as a baby with a tumor, and not even something as minor as a little boy’s stitches. I praise Him for His knowing. For His purposes. And for His peace.