Thursday, November 12, 2009

Seeing Spots

So it's official... we are now, unequivocally, part of the “in crowd:” this morning Evangeline tested positive for H1N1. At first I received the news with equanimity. But then I thought back to the conversation I'd had with Dutch on Sunday afternoon.

“Why didn’t you make me go with you to get vaccinated?” he had asked, while lying in bed with a fever.

“I told you three times we were going,” I said. “If you wanted to come you could have…”

“But you should have made me go…” he groaned.

“Oh,” I said, “because making you do things has proven to be so successful in the past!”

After a few moments he admitted, “I know that’s not fair. It wasn’t your responsibility.” But as I sat beside his sick bed contemplating the possibility of Evangeline, who had been too young to receive the vaccine, becoming ill, I felt like I had dropped the ball … Why hadn’t I made him go with me? How could I have been so thoughtless? Chalk it up to poor communication, poor planning, or pure stupidity, the bottom line was: he hadn’t. And it was too late to do anything about it.

“From now on we'll have a new family policy,” I said. “Every year we go together to get vaccinated…”

But as I drove to the pharmacy, after having spent the previous night awake with a feverish baby, my mind wandered back down the same trail… Maybe if I had made him get the shot he wouldn’t have gotten sick… and then maybe Evangeline wouldn’t have gotten sick… and then maybe… maybe… maybe… by the time we arrived home I was on the verge of having a panic attack.

I flipped nervously through the Wallstreet Journal and happened to notice an opinion article about the 13 American soldiers who were killed in Texas, called, “Why Fort Hood Really Happened.” The reason, the journalist said, was confusion. There have been so many policy changes regarding terrorism that even though the US electronic surveillance intelligence was able to pick up the phone calls that the shooter made to an imam in Yemen before the killings, they didn’t do anything about it… The intelligence people simply didn’t know what to do …

Then I went to my Bible and read about how the Israelite leaders imprisoned Peter and John for performing miracles in the name of Christ. "[T]o stop this thing from spreading any further among the people," they said, "we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name" (Acts 4.17).

Of course, I thought, we can and should try to mitigate trouble and disaster.. both in our government and our own homes. Bad policies should be amended, clarified or eliminated. But no matter how stringently we try to regulate our environment, circumstances force us to acknowledge that we are not in control. Vaccinations are far from being 100% effective... And even if Dutch had gotten one Evangeline could have just as easily picked up the virus somewhere else...

The bottom line is: The Sanhedrin could not control the spreading of the gospel any more than I can control the spreading of swine flu.

A hard truth... but this is part of why I take such comfort in the crucifixion, for it is proof of all proofs that God can and will accomplish His good purposes, even in situations which appears to represent the worst of all possible outcomes...

“This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold oh him... Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave...You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence” (Acts. 2.23-28).


Mom said...

Well said! Right now we can be totally confident in trusting our lives to the hands of our Maker! He is who he says He is and now we see through a glass darkly. (So frustrating) Someday all will be revealed to us through His eyes. Thank you for your comments.

the davila family said...

Those legs look downright yummy! It's unbelievable, but reassuring, to think that our Father could possibly love our children more than we do. I guess we're pretty lucky that He is in control in their lives and we're not. Thanks for the reminder. Praying for a quick return to good health....