Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sensitive Jaren

     Jaren's friend Ian at school recently got hurt playing soccer during recess and an ambulance was sent for. Jaren wasn't there when it happened but ran across the yard to see if Ian was okay, then ran back to report to the yard monitor the situation.
     The next day at school, Ian wasn't there. Jaren said he was in the hospital.
     I said, That's unusual. He probably needs surgery.
     Jaren made wild guesses as to what it might be (he had a broken elbow once that healed nicely with just a cast) but I said it's impossible to say.
     The next day, Jaren said Ian is still in the hospital.
     I said that it must be he had or is going to have surgery. It must be serious. (Jaren looked concerned.) He'll be fine, I said, kids heal fast. They might need to put in screws until it heals—I don't know how they do it these days.
     The next day Jaren said, Ian is still in the hospital. He has pins in his leg.
     I said, “Yeah, sometimes they use those. They hold them in place like screws. I don't know if they're permanent or they take them out after awhile.” Later that night before bedtime, Jaren was still talking about Ian and his injuries so I asked, “Would you like me to pray for him?” He nodded, so I hugged him close and prayed aloud, “In the name of Jesus, Ian be healed, all well and better with no more injuries or pain. All broken bones, damaged ligaments, nerves, tendons, or anything else be fully healed and recovered. Please comfort Ian and his family, his classmates and teachers and everyone else in school. May he come back to school real soon and be his usual happy, joyful self. In Jesus' name I pray all things. Amen.”
     Even before I concluded, I could tell that Jaren was touched, weeping silently in catching breaths. And as I recited my usual bedtime prayers for him immediately after, he tried to stifle his emotions, but it was obvious (not that I minded—it's how God made him.)
     (Note: I was taught about this “direct” style of healing prayer about a decade ago. Most such prayers are supplications, “Lord, please help heal...” Nothing's wrong with those, they can work just as well, but they're never used in the Bible. All (or virtually all?) healing prayers in the bible are direct—in essence commanding the healing to take place in Jesus' name. I pray healing prayers both ways. I like the direct style because it seems to initiate greater faith on my part—always a good thing, I think.)
     A weekend and a school day later, Ian was finally back in school with two casts on his right leg, walking on crutches. He'll have the casts for four and five weeks each, Jaren said.
     “Did you run over the first thing you saw him?” I asked.
     “No. There was already a crowd of people around him. I talked to him later when I ran into him. The first thing I saw him, though, I was so happy, I almost cried.”
     “That's sweet. Did you tell him you missed him?”
     “No. I told him, 'Welcome back. I hope you're as happy to see us as we're happy to see you.'”
     “That was great and awful nice of you.” Sometimes he says the most grown-up things—things I'd wish I'd thought of myself. “What did he say”
     “He said that he wasn't crying when he got hurt, he was just fussing.”
     “But you saw him crying when you ran over?”
     “Nothing's wrong with crying when you have serious injuries like that. It hurts like anything. Maybe you can invite him over for a sleep-over to cheer him up when he gets better. Would you like that?”
     He nodded.
     Now what did I get myself into?

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