It’s Mother’s Day 2013 and I wanted to write something non-traditional on this most important day. Facebook has been filled with people wishing their mothers a very special day and even my cousin’s daughter has posted pictures of her mom as a youngster with various other images of her throughout the years since. It brought back great memories for me – I remember when many of those pictures were taken and I found myself transported back 50 years remembering what life was like way back when.
And then I thought about how my own mother has been gone a number of years, since 1998, and how different my life feels now, without being able to speak with her. After that, I considered writing about dinner this evening and how we invited a number of mothers to celebrate with us as a group of 15. We had a great time.
But the winner was something entirely different. Because Janet and I heard a story Saturday evening about a miracle baby – from his mother – and it touched our hearts in such a way that I just had to tell you about it. You see, Janet and I tend to be creatures of habit and each Saturday evening after church, we head to Kona Grill and have a light dinner together. This week, we were introduced to a server we have not met before – her name is Emily.
And while I wasn’t trying to be nosey, I couldn’t help but notice what appeared to be a tattoo on the inside of her right arm. I thought maybe it was one of the temporary ones, because it seemed to be a word – in different heights – but Emily assured me it was real. In fact, it is the title of this post – bELIeve. I asked Emily whether the tattoo was a statement of faith or an endorsement of the Indianapolis Colts or some other team. After all, many people take to the notion of “believe” for more than strictly faith-based reasons.
Emily assured us that the tattoo was real and symbolized her deep faith. Then she shared the story of her miracle baby – her son ELI. Get it? She capitalized his name in the middle of the statement of her faith in God – “bELIeve.” I had to admit – I thought is was clever and very unusual…
Apparently, before Eli was born, he suffered from a blocked bladder and as a result, his kidneys were severely damaged when he was still a fetus. In fact, Emily endured two different procedures to try and minimize the physical damage to Eli before he was even born. Fortunately, although the issues were serious, Eli was born and was about nine months old before the problems with his kidneys really began to take a toll on his body. Fast forward, Eli is now 3-1/2 years old and requires dialysis three times a week to keep him healthy. He has had a number of other procedures, but the prognosis is clear – Eli needs a kidney – and pretty soon.
That in itself is a matter of prayer, but there is good news in the story. Emily’s brother just happens to be the perfect tissue match and in the very near future, Eli’s uncle is donating one of his healthy kidneys to save Eli’s life. Emily was obviously thrilled that the recent medical news meant that Eli’s problems could soon be over. This little boy has had more adverse medical stuff in his young life than most of us have ever experienced. And to think that it could all be coming to a wonderful conclusion. No wonder Emily has a “bELIeve” tattoo on her arm.
It’s obvious that she believes God can do anything and she has laid this issue at the foot of the cross. Her attitude is amazing and I am pleased that Janet and I can be part of the story by praying for Eli’s recovery. Jesus cared a great deal for the little children and He expects us to do the same thing. And let’s face it – all this great news around Mother’s Day is a real blessing for Emily.
The verse for this evening is from Luke 18:16, “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to be great examples as parents for our children. And to encourage our children to Christ centered lives. My prayer is that you will join me in praying for little Eli and asking God to heal him. God expects us to petition Him for the things that are important to us. And to Emily, allowing Eli to have a normal life is pretty high on her list of things that she wants out of life. One other thing – she bELIeves that God can and will honor her request. I think so… Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…
It was such a pleasure to meet you and Janet! Words can’t describe how much this blog post means to me. Your kind gesture has helped ease so much of my anxiety about all the upcoming procedures! I appreciate the prayer requests endlessly and look forward to seeing you both again very soon. I’d love for you to check out my blog as well at http://www.emilylhopkins.com/blog!