….when you go to the store to buy fibre – for your daughter. That’s right. For Kristin. And that’s how we spent our time together this evening. Mind you, not your typical father/daughter outing, but nonetheless, that is what we did. You see, Kristin has been having some digestive issues and the doctor thought it was time to get things checked out. While the ultimate report was fine, she may need an upper GI exam as well; and so you can pretty well guess what happened yesterday. Let’s just say that she was indisposed before the exam.
Kristin’s husband Jimmy was tied up with commitments he couldn’t re-arrange, and Kristin didn’t want to postpone the procedure, so dear old Dad spent the day waiting for the medical report – sitting in the waiting room and reading the paper, several times. Neither Janet, nor any of our children, wake up very quickly from anesthesia, so it was a rather long wait for a relatively short procedure. And when it was all over, and Kristin was ready to go home over, the doc announced that he wanted her to start on a full regimen of Citrucel or some other fibre supplement – three times a day. As it was strangely similar to the report I received after having my first “exam”, it would appear the doctor has stock in the fibre companies.
As I was waiting for Kristin, I couldn’t help but think of all the times in her life I have been there during medical emergencies. The most intense was the time that she was admitted to the hospital during her college years at Ball State and they thought she needed to have her appendix removed. It was late in the evening, and I didn’t trust the doctors in Muncie, IN. Anyway, I called every doctor I knew and trusted, but nobody could confirm what her problem could be. So, I made the call to operate, and headed up to Ball State to be there when she woke up. When it was all over, guess what, they had removed a healthy appendix. But they did find cysts that were quite painful and turned out to be the source of her pain.
And then there was the time that Janet was pregnant with Jill and we were all in Florida together with Janet’s sister and her family. The adults were getting ready to go to the dog races in West Palm Beach and I took Kristin down to the restaurant to get carry-out from the hotel to bring up to the room for Kristin’s dinner. Anyway, as I turned to pay the bill, Kristin broke free from my grip and ran way; bobbing and weaving through the tables. She was looking back at me as she ran head first into the corner of a table and gashed her head. Now we’re not talking horrible here, but to Janet you would think that I was the most irresponsible parent who ever lived.
And finally, there was the time when Kristin was young and we owned a home on some acreage in Inverness, IL. I needed one of those large lawn tractors to cut about three acres; with a huge vacuum system to pick up the clippings. Well, Kristin used to wait for me to empty the clippings every once in a while in the woods behind our home. She would run out from the house across our back yard all the way out to greet me and talk as I dumped the vacuum system. Well, one time, she was only there a minute or two and then let me know that she had to go back in the house. She ran off and skipped across the yard back to the patio.
Next thing I knew, Janet was coming out across the yard, and wanted to know why I let Kristin get hurt. Honest to God, I didn’t know what she was talking about. But apparently, Kristin decided to sit on the engine of the TracVac system and she got a nasty burn on the back of her leg from where she sat on the hot muffler. It was pretty bad, but she never said a word to me, and never cried – until she got back to the house. And once again, one of the kids got hurt while they were with me.
Now there are several other times as well, like the time I slammed Jill’s finger in the door of the car, and it locked, so I had to go inside and get the keys before I could open the door to get her finger out. Or the time Kristin got her foot stuck in the birch tree in our front yard in Inverness. I was upstairs near a bedroom window and heard her screaming – but somehow, that was my “fault” as well. There is no point in beating this to death – you get the idea. Janet thought I was a walking disaster area when it came to taking care of the kids.
But in honor of Kristin’s exam, I have chosen a short verse for tonight, from Ps. 139:13, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Somehow, I think that’s appropriate……
And God knows that most of Kristin’s “innermost being” has been burned, cut, scraped, broken or surgically removed during the last 36 years. But she is still our little girl. So my encouragement tonight is to let you know that God knows your pain and your suffering. And my prayer is that you will turn to Him, because He does know you, inside and out; and share your innermost thoughts. Because as we are told in the last verse of the same Psalm, verse 24, the psalmist’s reverent intent is for God to “see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” That’s my prayer for you as well.