Bandages and Breakthroughs: Lessons from a 3-year-old
5/21/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Sandi Banks


Nothing has prepared my mother-heart for this tragic rain-soaked April morning, 1976. 

The drizzly greys outside this hospital window match my emotions as I hold vigil at the bedside of my three-year-old daughter. 

She looks so small, so fragile, so endearing.

It had all happened in a flash:

the freak accident,

early-morning race to the hospital,

emergency surgery,

followed by agonizing hours of waiting,


bargaining with God.

Desperately hoping the surgeon would emerge

and tell us our little girl would be okay. 


He does emerge, but offers no promises. 

And so, we wait some more.


She’s in recovery now, sleeping peacefully beside me.

I’m dreading the moment she’ll awaken and feel the pain. 


It comes. 


She begins tearing at the bandage over her eye, moaning.

“Mommy, pleeeease - take this off. It hurts me.”

All I can do is hold her, sing to her, love on her.


In her three-year-old world, there is so much she cannot understand. 


How can I explain that the pain is deep inside,

that the bandage is helping not hurting? 

How can she comprehend

that our seemingly cruel withholding of food and water

are temporary and in her best interests? 

How can we help her see that as parents,

we know healing sometimes requires painful cutting, 

and so we have permitted, even welcomed, this needed surgery?


We love her. We understand that sometimes love permits pain.


Suddenly I get it:

a clear picture of our loving heavenly Father,

hovering over us in our hurt.


"I'm here for you, Beloved."


Fresh waves of understanding begin to wash over me,

like the cleansing, refreshing spring rain outside the hospital window.


Oh Father, You do love us!

You allow hardship and heartache in our lives

for reasons we may never comprehend.

But You want us to trust You in the midst of it.

You comfort us through the healing process,

then encourage us to rest in Your promise,

that beyond our momentary pain

is Your greater purpose.


How profound that

a mother's desperate concern for her child would reveal 

the Father's dependable care for His.


Do you need His healing touch today, the promise of His greater purpose in your pain?

Is there someone with whom you can share this truth, His hope, today?


“Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning.” -Psalm 30:5

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Bandages and Breakthroughs: Lessons from a 3-year-old
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