Waiting his turn, screaming and moaning, the boy one room over did not want to get his allergy test.
"But," the nurse said, "it's just a scratch, not a shot."
If I'm that boy and I'm three years old, I'm not getting tricked by that one.
"That's it. That's all, buddy," I could hear the nurse say over his yells.
"Get him a Kleenex." Now another nurse.
How many were there trying to console him?
Poor mother. Poor boy. I could imagine the flailing arms, the face lined with tears, the misunderstanding. The thinking-it-was-going-to-hurt moment because they are sticking me with something and this can't be good even though they keep calling it a scratch.
"We're done!" The nurse cried. "It's over. You get a lollypop."
Silence. Oh, the power of candy.
I heard the nurse tell his mom the real deal now that they were done (they really need to close the doors in this place). Most children are a little fearful of allergy tests. They think it's going to hurt more than it is; they try to be honest with them from the get-go, but it's still hard. They have no clue what's coming.
Ah, that makes sense.
I can totally relate to him. Sometimes life feels like it's coming at me like a shot, and I can't tell if what is right in front of me - the allergy test of the moment - is truly just a scratch.
Maybe it is a scratch. But it sure looks and feels like a shot, and you know this thing aint right, because people all around you are offering you lollypops of a sort, and even though you want them, wouldn't it be better to not get pricked?
Wouldn't it be better to not get pricked all over and be red and blotchy and seriously itchy? I got me some new allergy tests, like the little boy. It's a long-winded experience but I highly recommend it if you want to find out if you are perhaps allergic to some really great things, like chocolate. Let's just say, I may not stop eating chocolate all together, because I have not died yet and I really like chocolate. I'll have to see. I'm only mildly allergic, and by the way, who is allergic to chocolate? But, then, there's the fact that I'm allergic to lots of things in the environment and I don't think you can stay away from "the environment," so I give up. Not really, but you get the idea.
I decided that the whole idea of this fear-of-the-shot business was calling me to something deeper. Ann says we are all living mini traumas all the time - but those who dare to trust call them gifts.
These gifts I find everywhere, they are small steps, but each retraces the movements of my heart.
225. an extended meet for coffee on 'the porch,' overlooking the beautiful, busy roadway
226. friends and their babies! constant laughter and sweetness.
227. the most gorgeous sunsets, while driving. pink, orange, blue. the sky is a canvas.
228. joy of sleep!
229. no water leaks for a few days! always progress.
230. thai food
231. the idea that summer lasts forever. doesn't it? one can dream.
232. the Word
233. nice dr.'s who understand time
234. getting to see my mom
Can I deep trust? That God is good no matter what? That He is always the one to be counted on, the One gift, when nothing else is found, that is enough every time?
That every single time there is suffering, His comfort overflows, God of all comfort. Yes.
There will be suffering. There will be allergy test days, and moments you feel like the boy in that room next door. I get it. I keep praying to remember that the re-joy-cing comes in Christ, at work in us and working all things together for good.
Lollypops or not.
Question: If you are in pain, hurting, or just had 30 scratch tests performed on your body, and I brought you some candy, what would you pick?
(This just in: I pick jellybeans. As far as I know, I'm not allergic to jellybeans.)