Wednesday, July 13, 2005

When We are Weak, Then He Is Strong

Robbie, age three months Posted by Picasa

This is Robbie, six weeks ago. Now he is longer, rounder, smiles and chuckles. He can pull up to a solid lap stand. Roll over and back unassisted. Hard to believe, this cheerful, contented baby is ill. Robbie has been hospitalized twice in the last three weeks. With ASTHMA.

I am ashamed to admit I have never understood this disease. I've been rather inclined to judge it. Discount it. Blame the victims. The same way others tell me, as a depressive, to give myself a shake.

I'm learning. I'm humbled. God is at work.

Asthma is a pernicious troubling sort of disease. Worrying. It calls for all out warfare against the enemy; dust, smoke, pet dander. Omnipresent pollutants, seen and unseen, are hunted down. Clutter and dust eliminated. Older flooring exhumed. Laminate flooring installed. Ducts cleaned. Walls painted. Mould exterminated. New roof. New insulation. New windows. And the two family pets, Tisha and Pollywoggalina, have needed, sadly, a new home.

Amazingly, in just three days, things are coming together. Answers to prayer. Robbie and his family have been sheltering with us for the duration. Funding has become available.

Renovations are mammoth. My daughter Barbara and her husband Dylan tore into the task with the kind of enthusiasm only parents of threatened young can muster. They were ripping up carpet within minutes of their return from hospital.

Help has come. My brother and nephew did grunt work...getting out ancient nails and staples and uncovering a solid staircase. "We're good at destruction," they rejoiced. My sister-in-law took over child care. Contributed perspective, practicality and calm.

High heat, humidex and smog, have made this enterprize more dangerous for all. Papa Robert has suffered more than usual with chest conjestion, fatique and severe coughing. It is hard to imagine how a small baby can handle such an assault on the lungs. But young Robbie is a fighter and has lots of people praying for him.

I'm general contractor and design consultant on the job. My own father hovers in spirit at my shoulder and utters, "That stair rail has to go." And, "If you're going to do a job, do it right."

Son-in-law Dylan, a man of brain and skill, is accomplishing the impossible. The new subfloor is almost complete. Coats of paint have gone onto main floor walls. Dylan with Barb has done most of the labour. More friends and relations have surfaced to help. Dylan's brother David and friend Chris are working like a well oiled machine. Barb's friends, Sandy and Cheryl, have wielded paint brushes, cleared up, swept up and taken glee in it. Other people are promising to come as the week unfolds.

There have been miracles. Cat placement. In a world of surplus cats and kittens, who would want our excess pair? Yesterday a young couple adopted both cat and kitten. Their previous cats had died within a year of eachother, and they greeted the new additions to their family with choking tears of gratitude. Polly, they claimed, was a veritable reincarnation of their former feline companion.

And Rachael, who at three, might have resented the loss of her pets, seems to understand. "No furry pets so we can help Robbie get well," she exclaims with a wag of her imperious finger. She looks forward to the purchase a gold fish the size of a Northern pike, with twenty teeth just like her and long brown hair. "Goldie" will live in her room.

Love generates amazing energies. We are all exhausted. We misunderstand one another. Struggle. Get back on the same page of the combat plan. In our frailty, the power of God is unleashed. I am learning more about the God of sufficiency and provision, more about trust, more about the awesome capacity of all those I love.

Keep us in your prayers. With gratitude, Connie.


Kim said...

What a lovely baby :)!!

georgia said...

Connie, I too have asthma....and my parents did not go overboard with making an allergy free environment.....I wish they had....Robbie is truly a blessed baby, maybe he will grow out of this misunderstood disease...or some divine intervention. A lot of hard work, but the little guy really is worth it eh. 3 Cheers for family, keep focused on the job at hand and the reward. Many jewels in that crown for all of you. :)

magoo77 said...

Well... once again a test of faith and love. I'm glad this lastest obstacle is being tackled with strength from all sides. It's amazing how quickly the world around us takes a turn, something so precious like a little baby to bring things to a head! There is always a lot of talk about plans but sometimes it's okay that we are forced into getting the task done faster. Everything always falls into place one way or another. You have been the leader, coach, and guideance we have all looked for and depended on. You have set the example of believing in the greater god! Believing in the faith and strength as a family is a gift in itself!

annie said...

In our frailty, the power of God is unleashed.

Amen girl. Gosh, what a job! Will keep you and your family in my prayers.

anj said...

Wow - we are in the middle of a stalled renovation ourselves. When I read of the activity and work being done, I am wowed, knowing the energy and time this type of work takes. And when i think of you all nurturing Robbie in his weakness this way, I am grateful for the heart picture. Nurturing, in love, is a fading art in our world. Thanks for giving me a taste of what that can look like.

bobbie said...

if you threw in a barn i'd think you were all mennonites! that's incredible. your grandson is adorable! your all in my prayers!

steph said...

How essential breath is. How much gets in the way of our breathing in life.
This is such a story of community, of love, of hope...and all of it so one can live!
Love really is unselfish isn't it.

Anonymous said...

May the power of God be unleashed! How humble I've become to be completely powerless.
"God, grant me the serenety
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference."
Whenever I am angry or sad it's usually because there is some aspect of my life that is unaccaptable to me.
I need accept that Robbie has Asthma. Nothing I do will change that. I've prayed for courage and strength to change the things I can. Renovating my entire house, letting go of our pets, working day and night, ensuring that Robbie gets his medication, and to not be afraid of any outcome.
Wisdom is to know the difference that I can't.... God can... And I'll let him. As long as I have faith in God, love in my family, I can trust God for what I need... and let it go.
God IS at work. He is again carrying us through this especially turbulant time.
Thank you for your kind words Mom

Hope said...

You are blessed.

daisymarie said...

Definitely will be praying!