I've become more sensitive to the reality that many who have helped and are helping our family are experiencing their own significant trials. I've been wondering lately why it is that some suffer silently with little outside support while others--such as our family--have so much of this needed support.
Maybe it has something to do with Talitha being a baby and it's easier to share more openly with others when it's a baby. I mean think about it: when was the last time you heard an older child or adult, in a casual conversation, volunteer basic personal info like their exact height, weight, and head size (with comparison percentiles), and age (down to the month)...not to mention how much and what they ate and drank that day, and if they pooped or not.
There's simply not a blog or a "Pray for Talitha" wrist band for every struggling neighbor, friend, or family member we may come accross that needs help with their often-hidden-but-equally-valid sorrows and pains. Just because their trials may be less public makes them no less deserving of our faith, prayers, and support....if only we could discern their needs or be close enough to them to ask the right questions and care enough to find out so there might be fewer stressed-out souls fighting the good fights alone.
A neighbor and friend of mine is facing his own battle with cancer right now and has been for some time. Still he approached me with such love and compassion and even held back tears as he asked about Talitha and then said, "I wish I could just take away her pain and put it on me. I'd do it it in a heartbeat if I could." Here's someone who is already carrying such a load and really knows exactly what fighting cancer feels like. He loves his wife, children, and grandchildren with all his heart and longs to be with them as long as possible but knows that we never know when it might be our turn so he just faces each day with gratitude and TELLS his family members he loves them and hugs them and holds them close and doesn't leave any of the important things to chance. He'd rather be the one to suffer than think of any of these precious children having to suffer at such a young age. Such Christ-like love and compassion warms me to the core.
Sometimes we may wonder if God really is aware of what's going on in each of our personal lives. The scriptures relate a tender moment when even one of God's prophets wondered this same thing when he wrote, "O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?" The answer he received has often comforted me when storm clouds seem to be especially thick, "Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment, and ... all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."
We can't take the pain and suffering of another person away by putting it upon ourselves. But our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can and did. I have felt His comforting hand and a peace that is not of this world. Though "we talk of Christ, [and] we rejoice in Christ" I still feel He is the greatest of all the unsung heroes. For as the scriptures say "who can say too much of His great power, and of His mercy, and of His long suffering towards the children of men? I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."
It is Christ that is carrying our sweet Talitha. If I put my mind on the chemotherapy too much, I can lose my grip pretty quick. And somedays it's hard not to get caught up in the "trauma" of the moment especially when you know they are fighting the cancer with substances so toxic it would burn the flesh of her little arms if injected through the smaller veins in the arms rather than through her central port that accesses the largest blood flows of her body near her heart. My faith and trust in God has had to become more than passive and superficial. I've learned He is real and His help is real.