Thursday, August 30, 2007

Orthotics for Abby... A.K.A - field trip for the heart.

The kids and I had to go to Walter Reed Hospital in DC today to get Abby's new orthotics. We spent 3 hours in the prosthetics clinic watching men whose lives and bodies have been obliterated by tragedy in far away places.
The doors to the clinic would swing open wide and these men would roll themselves in the clinic in their wheelchairs and throw their old prosthetic on the counter, laugh and joke with the staff and then minutes later you would see them test driving the new limb while running up the hallway.
Several of them had wives push them in - women with a strength of spirit and heart that seemed too great for words - put pain that was still so close to the surface that they couldn't make eye contact with you.
I could have gotten a babysitter for the two little guys - it was an all day affair. But frankly, I wanted them there. I shared with Michael before we went in what we would see, how he should behave when he saw it and then assured him I'd answer all of his questions when we got back in the van. He was a trooper - amazed while not really understanding how amazing it all was.
Truthfully, I want my kids to see the ugliness of reality - actually I guess I want them to see that NOTHING is FREE. I want them to know of great men and heroes, and people who pay the price and march on.
That's true of their knowledge of Jesus too. I want them to not only know Him as the Savior who rescued them - but also the Savior who was broken and bled and nearly crushed- I want them to know the tomb, only after they've sat at the feet of the cross where the blood trickles down over them. The truth is we need a Savior who bled for us and we need soldiers who will do the same for our freedom in this country and around the world. The sad thing is - very often we want the victory without the battle to the extent that we'll ignore the battle altogther and those who fought.
Wasn't it David who said - "I will not give Him that which costs me nothing".
Today was a reminder of people who say that sort of thing and then have to live with it.
The crazy thing is - the Prsthetics and Orthotics clinic is the rowdiest clinic at that hospital I think - those guys laugh and joke, and talk and share a camaraderie - some unspoken connection that is sacred and precious and solid. It was awkward to be in the room at some points - not because of their injuries - but because of their laughter. I felt small, and shallow and trite.
As we left today, another gentleman was being rolled out to the elevator in front of us - his injuries looked new, his face still carried grimaces of terror and shock - one leg was gone, the other in a cast with tubes hanging out where the foot should have been, one arm in a cast and a tube running out of his shirt at his neck - I never saw him blink. I hope we see running down the halls the next time we're there, or maybe just sitting in the room next to us deciding whether he wants the shiny silver leg, or the flesh colored one made for running. Pray for him - it's a long way from where he was today, to that moment - but at the very least we owe him and others like him a prayer.

Posted by Cindy and the Wards at 6:38 PM

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