Life Scribbles: The Sobriety of Being Human
Human beings are amazing (if I do say so myself)! When I consider the amount of advancement achieved by humanity in areas like technology, science, health, culture, and music, I often find myself in a state of awe.
Nevertheless, even with innovations like these, there still exists a deep sense of sobriety and frailty whenever we’re confronted with our mortality and inability to change the finite human condition.
I personally sense this the most whenever my family is faced with medical conditions beyond our control. For example, when my daughter was 9 months old, our doctors were fearful that she had a cyst in her brain. After two sonograms of my daughter’s brain, they were fairly confident that they saw visible fluid. We heard the news right around this time before Christmas. My wife and I were shopping for the holidays when we received the call.
I still vividly remember my wife processing the information from our doctor while on the call and seeing her posture completely change. Everything just hit us right in the middle of the store we were standing in.
We were told that the earliest opportunity to do a CAT Scan was a month away. Sobering. The time in between was hell. Of course, Google didn’t help as we began to research the possibilities. (Eventually, we agreed not to go online about what it could be.)
You realize in those moments that no amount of medical advancement is going to ultimately help you out. Although technology in this case identified the potential problem, we understood that it could not change what was happening in our daughter’s brain. We came to the sober realization that we were human. Period. Everything within us wanted to figure it out and make things okay. We couldn’t.
I still remember the nights we had with our daughter as she slept. My wife and I cradled her, prayed for her, and many times, cried for her. Every waking moment was precious. I think this is why our daughter has such a unique place in our hearts.
After weeks of praying and bracing ourselves for the worse, we took our daughter in for her CAT Scan. It was heart breaking to give her anesthesia and see her go through the process. Her seemingly lifeless body was a clear visual reminder of life’s frailty.
While in the recovery room, we were told that the results would not be available for a few days. My wife and I knew that we couldn’t wait. We begged the nurse to contact our doctor. She finally agreed and in about an hour, our doctor entered our room. See him walk in knocked the air out of my lungs. I simultaneously had relief and a deep anxiety of what was to come.
As our doctor entered, we could see a slight smile on his face. I can’t tell you how much hope this injected into my soul. He proceeded to tell us that something drastically changed. They could not find anything out of the ordinary for our daughter. He shared about how rare it was to see the change. In our eyes, this was a miracle and answered prayer.
After the initial shock and joy of this new finding, I couldn’t help but think of other parents in our situation that didn’t hear the same news. My heart was grieved for them. I couldn’t imagine what the alternate news would have created for our lives.
The reality is that we are all human and it’s sobering to think that we can’t control everything. I think this should keep us humble and cause us to celebrate the relationships we all have in the moment, especially in a season like this.
It’s okay to be frail and not have everything together. This understanding will keep us more honest and provide a perspective that will ultimately make life more meaningful.