It was a year ago (January 24, 2014) where a series of x-rays would not only change our son, Cole’s future based on what they revealed, but would also serve to reveal all of our souls – laying them bare before us as the year 2014 unfolded day by day.
That January Friday was a fairly uneventful day. We were still reveling in the excitement of adding son #4 to the family just 5 days earlier and planning to celebrate the 5th birthday of son #3, Cole, in just about a week later. And so Cole and I loaded up and headed down for some some x-rays that would hopefully help us understand what we thought was a pretty simple problem or injury to his leg. I sat with Cole in the waiting room, explaining what an x-ray was and calming any apprehensions (although he didn’t have many) about what he would have to do. He quietly climbed up on to the x-ray table and wondered why he couldn’t see the pictures they were taking. We got back into the car and headed home. Routine…
Until the phone rang the next morning. It was his pediatrician and the words that came out first were, “I’m not an expert, but I think I’m seeing something that will necessitate Cole being seen by an expert. I believe what I’m looking at in these x-rays is a rare, incurable childhood disease called Legg Calve Perthes.”
You’ve all had those moments where time seemed to stand still. Like the world suddenly became so still and quiet all around you as your mind starts to be flooded with emotions and questions or questions and emotions… I don’t remember the order of occurrence.
But little did we know that day that the x-rays being taken on Cole’s hip joint that would reveal a disease would also start the process of the x-rays that would begin to be taken on our very lives and souls.
Nothing quite lays your soul as bare as when you face a crisis. Whether it’s financial, health, relational or even faith – these crisis serve as an x-ray to our very souls. These trials seem to open our soul up in ways we would have never anticipated – or in most cases even wanted. But they reveal things about us. These x-rays of our souls reveal the foundation to which we are anchoring our life. They reveal the idols that our hearts cling to. They reveal the depth of hope or even lack thereof when crisis comes.
Each one of us in this journey with Cole have been thoroughly x-rayed… especially Brooke and I. X-rays of children tend to x-ray parents in unique and challenging ways. We’ve found our souls laid bare. But we’ve also found a strength to walk this journey that we’ve faced over the past year. As our souls we’re x-rayed, it showed that we truly do believe what the Psalmist writes in 73:26, where he says, “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.”
I have no doubt the x-rays will continue… for Cole and our family. In fact, he has some more coming up this next week to see how his body responded to his last procedure (injection) and the oral medication to take down the inflammation. Our journey is a long way from over, so that means more x-rays – both physical and spiritual. We pray they continue to reveal the faithfulness of a loving Heavenly Father met by the responsiveness of faith and trust in His goodness and provision. And also the reminder that He x-rays our souls (despite our fear in this process) for our benefit. May we all grow to the place where we welcome these x-rays like the Psalmist prays in 139:23-24, “X-ray me, [my translation] O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”