Julie Lyles Carr

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    Hebrews 12:2
It's been a bit of a challenging few days here at the Octamom house.  7 of 8 received an incredible gift but one that is a very visual reminder of her challenges, sets her apart and often makes her howl.  It's her new splint that she is to wear at nighttime, holding her fingers at a better angle and keeping her thumb open.
7 of 8 was diagnosed in May as having experienced a neonatal stroke shortly around the time of her birth.  It has resulted in weakness on her left side, along with a funny little lopsided crawl.  We have ordered various splints to help open up her hand, to no avail.  We haven't been able to find the right fit, haven't been able to find a form that does exactly what we need it to.  And so, out of great patience and compassion, one of the therapists at 7 of 8's therapy group set about  making her a custom splint this week.
Materials were purchased, expertise was utilized.  Molding foam was set in hot water and then formed around 7 of 8's left hand and arm.  Bright pink cushion was added.  Velcro straps were attached.  7 of 8 protested, yelled, cried.  Miss T lovingly held her, let her cry, let her fight, cared enough for her to let her protest. The end result is functional, does what is needs to and is not a thing of beauty.  And, its consistent use can go a long way in helping 7 of 8 rotate and hold her hand in the appropriate position.  
It is a very visual reminder of what 7 of 8 must overcome.
It makes my heart hurt a little.
And sometimes a lot.
And it is a thing of beauty...and not.

And it is something rendered out of great love and compassion.
Many Christians chose to wear a cross around their necks, a reminder of sacrifice, of love, of grace.  We turn crosses into jewelry, encrust them with diamonds, cast them in gold.  And yet, we sometimes seem to forget that we are making charms out of an instrument of execution, a cruel measure of a dictatorial government.  And yet the dichotomy remains, something that is a symbol of what our failings, what our weaknesses cost Jesus somehow becoming a thing of beauty and something treasured.  An old rugged cross cast in gold and covered in diamonds.
And so I understand a little better this week, how a little girl's rough splint, a thing that looks clumsy and awkward and somewhat cruel, can also be regarded by a mama's achy heart as something precious.  And I can feel my Father's smile as He gently says to me, "Yes."
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