With H. coming home and dealing with all of the doctor's appointments, I've been thinking a lot about this recently. More than once I've had someone tell me how wonderful it is that H. is in our family now and she can receive the treatment and medical procedures that she needs. I'm not disagreeing with this; we're very glad she is in our family and that modern Western medicine can help her. Her medical needs are easy to see and she elicits compassion from those around her (usually). I know some people feel overwhelmed thinking about all the medical treatments she has in her future, and I won't kid you and say I don't, but, in some ways this is easy. Easy because everyone can see what is wrong and we can seek medical treatment. Parts of it won't be fun or enjoyable, but those times are part of a bigger plan.
What I find significantly more difficult is raising the child with the hidden wounds. A child who has been so injured by what he has experienced that we would be appalled at the sight of those wounds if they could be viewed in physical form. But they can't be seen. They lie hidden, seeping their poison, and very few people even know they are there. They are mysterious and we can't even know what they truly are and even discovering their presence isn't obvious. How can you begin to treat something if you don't know what it looks like or what caused it or the damage it has already done? There is nothing easy about it. There is no antibiotic for loss. There is no surgery which can remove anger. No scan which can identify the source of fear. No injection to provide peace and joy.
My two children share a similar trajectory. Neither treatment will be easy. Neither treatment will be a one-time event. Neither treatment will be over in a month or two. Healing for both will be long-term and will have difficult moments and frustrations and pain. Yet one child's wounds are obvious and another's are not and I am hard-pressed to choose which has the more difficult path.
A part of me grieves for both my children; that they have suffered pain and loss and hurt, but I do not despair because Jesus is the great healer. He knows my children's hurts and He can heal them. He can even heal where medicine can't. He heals the deep, invisible wounds that no one can see. Only God can replace loss and fear and anger with peace and joy. Nothing is too hard for God... no wound too deep and infected to heal, no sin too great to forgive.
Soli Deo Gloria!