Christmas in July

There is a tall White Pine outside this hospital room window and I sit on the bed and watch evenly-spaced branches bow low over the parking lot. A soft breeze blows and long needles shimmer—arced branches wave unhurriedly.

My boy is sleeping in the bed next to me—lulled into slumber by the heat of the infection he still fights off in his body. On the last day of July his appendix ruptured and I held him tight behind a curtain in the ER—willing his pain to sleep as we waited out the slow turning of the wheel of modern medicine.

I’m scared, he told me, before they wheeled him off to surgery.

Me too, I wanted to say, but instead I prayed with him and he gave me a butterfly kiss and I had to walk away from him—singing Jesus Loves Me in my mind.

 

Jeff and I held hands and prayed in the waiting room and I leaned on his shoulder and closed my eyes.

I guess I feel like crying because I’m so tired, I said.

And he just pulled me tighter.

And when the surgeon came out smiling it felt like I’d just come up for air from underneath a heavy ocean. This doctor is our new hero—he only just operated on our oldest the week before. After he gives us the run down and shows us pictures of the rupture, he gives us a crooked grin.

Guys, I don’t know … do you have any more kids?

We laugh, the three of us, and it feels so good I could cry.

Later, Jeffrey would tell me, God was there.

He would look me in the eye and whisper, I felt him.

I sit on this hospital bed and look out that window at that solitary pine swaying and I let the rhythm of its gentle undulation touch the tired parts of my body. I’ve never been so happy to say goodbye to July and I pray for a brighter August—for something, something to ring the bell of joy.

And that White Pine just looks on, speaking Christmas into my tired like a million brightly wrapped presents are tucked under its skirts.

::
This week’s memory verse:
 
 

Check previous Tuesday posts for prior verses.

For memory cards of the whole book of James visit this post.

Jeffrey Boggess and the Daring Rescue

“I’m writing a book.”

“Another one?”

“Yes. This one is going to be a series.”

“What’s it about?”

“It’s about our family, and all my friends, and this guy I don’t know. I named him Clyde.”

“Clyde?”

“Umm hmm. Clyde is given the power to take over the universe and he turns evil.”

“Oh, my.”

“And me and my friends–and Teddy– are given the good power to fight Clyde. And LucyMae. Lucy is with us too.”

“LucyMae fights evil?”

“Umm hmm. And Clyde kidnaps you and daddy and we have to rescue you. And we have to travel all over the universe. Each book will be a different adventure on our way to rescue you.”

The lights are out and the pillow talk starts and I stare up at the ceiling in the dark and think how small his universe is.

He’s given the power to take over the universe…and he kidnaps you and daddy.

I squeeze his hand and shift Lucy with my leg–she always wedges in between us during the Tucking In–luxuriating in the white fuzzy blanket Jeffy calls home at night.

This is his universe. We are his universe.

The thought silences me and I am lost momentarily…until I am called back to this place, in this white fuzzy blanket, on this bed, with this dog between my legs, beside this boy.

“I’m calling it Jeffrey Boggess and the Daring Rescue.”

And I think about The Rescues–the big one and the Even Bigger One–in my life and I can’t breathe for a minute.

I am filled with it all anew: the wonder. That I can reach out my hand and touch Jesus in my life astounds me. He announces Himself. And I am Simon Peter, falling to my knees at the great bounty before me.

“Do you like it?”

“Hmm?”

“Jeffrey Boggess and the Daring Rescue? Do you like the title?”

Do I?

“Well, I just…I just think it’s perfect.”

Because everyone wants to be rescued.