Strangers

April 4

April 4, 2018

Kayley Hospital Watch

Strangers
Strangers- people you don’t know, recognize or are unfamiliar with.
Outsiders…
They are the ones your mother warned you about as soon as you were old enough to go outside and ride a trike, big wheel or hover board. Your mom would speak to you with aggression, stern intention; she would then implore you with the words, “Don’t talk to strangers”!

Last night such a person crept in our hospital room.

Missy was sleeping and by Gods grace Kayley was too. The day had been somewhat better for our daughter until we could see the moon creeping over the downtown Dallas skyline. As often happens with illness, nights seem to escalate sickness and Kayley was feeling poor.

Around 3 AM missy heard the opening of the door. Exhausted and tired she didn’t turn over; she assumed it had to be the nurses doing their routine checks of vital signs. Knowing Kayley could sleep through it, Missy tried to ignore another one of the never ending hospital interruptions and continue resting.

Something sounded different this time…eerily strange.

Missy turned over to see an elderly woman probably in her eighties, clad in a yellow gown, disheveled hair/silver as a nickel, standing over Kayley’s bed and reaching out her hand towards her. Missy launched off the sofa and began loudly telling her she was in the wrong room. Kayley awoke terrified to see the decrepit hunched over figurine staring her in the face. When the nurses arrived Missy was gently ushering the woman into the hall.

As the nurses tried to peel the intruders arms away from Missy she began cursing them… resisting them…saying she wanted to go with missy.

The nurses had forgotten to turn on her bed alarm and the delusional old lady was able to slip through detection and into our world.

Such is the way with unwelcome strangers.

Encountering another stranger was not only a reflection of the last 17 consecutive hospital days but regrettably it also became a harbinger of another newcomer we would meet today.

His name?
Thoracentesis: This newest stranger has a name so disgusting… so repulsive… I can barely pronounce it. Oddly enough this foreigners identity begins with THOR-a marvel comic book hero- God of thunder- who wields a “enchanted” hammer. Basically, this stranger removes fluid from the space between the lungs and the chest wall for therapeutic purposes and does so by inserting a needle between the ribs.

We were carried to another floor so Thor could drain her chest but before it could happen fever and pain arose to proportions that delayed him until Thursday morning.

I’ve discovered strangers are not always people but can also be feelings, sicknesses, surgeries or anything else unwanted or uninvited into ones life that pose danger, uneasiness or hurt.

Some strangers we’ve heard others tell ghostly tales about but until now our family had never personally witnessed them. Others, we have seen only once or on rare occasions but now they visit regularly enough that their presence and proximity have almost become expected.

Let me give you some examples of these creeps with whom we’ve recently become too acquainted with.
Chronic Pain.
Daily tears.
Worry.
Doubt.
Fear.
Sleeplessness.
Cafeterias.
Disease.
Inflammation.
Migraines.
Heart damage.
Lung fluids.
Transfusions.
Dangerously high fever.
Needles.
Pain meds.
High/Low blood pressure.
Each one has descended on Kayley Faith…on us all… like vampires.

There is one stranger so foreign, so alien that I could never have been convinced that he even existed.

Equally revolting is where I found him…
Inside of me.

This inner intruder exposed caves and tunnels in me; it revealed kinks, chinks and struggles with my faith and trust in God that I didn’t know existed.

I’ve told countless thousands that circumstances should never affect your faith.

I’ve quoted to the masses 1st Corinthian’s 15:58 -that you are supposed to be steadfast and unmovable.

I’ve preached to crowds large and small to walk by faith and not sight.

I’ve addressed the addicted, broken, famous, unknown, incarcerated, poor and rich that God can’t fully use a person until He has first fully broken them.

I’ve admonished audiences to NOT run from Goliaths, lion dens or adversity because it’s there that God becomes famous.

I’ve reminded countless injured believers not to live by their feelings but to choose to live by Gods word.

My voice has echoed through stadiums, gymnasiums, prisons and churches admonishing people that through pain and weakness they become strong.

May God forgive me for not living these last 17 days the truth that I so easily preached.

How easy it is to be hypocritical… to make U turns back into ditches.

On my way to pick up dinner tonight I apologized “AGAIN” for my doubt, frustration, anger and failing test grades. As tears rolled like the wheels on my truck I told God that just because I started weak doesn’t mean that by His grace I can’t finish strong.

Prayerfully, hopefully I am changing and will fight a good fight, finish this race and keep the faith.

Speaking of faith, I asked Kayley FAITH when Missy went down to get a bite, “Are you mad at God”?

Her answer???

“Dad, I was, but not anymore”.

I want to be more like her, less like me or the ugly, doubting stranger inside who my mother always said I should not talk too.

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