Letting Her Go

(A Facebook Post.)

We just dropped Evelyn off at Camp Midicha, which is a week-long summer camp for kids with Type 1 Diabetes. Needless to say, I am experiencing a strange mixture of emotions.

In one sense I’m terrified. And why? Because no one knows the particulars of her disease like her parents—not her doctors or her friends. Not even her siblings have it wrangled like we do. We know her numbers, and we know her physical cues. But we’ll be offline for a week—unplugged from her care while others do the tending. In a way, this teeters at the edge of nightmarish.

In another sense, I’m so happy for her. In fact, she was sitting on my lap while we waited to register and she leaned in and asked, “So, everyone here has Type 1?”

“They sure do, honey,” I replied, kissing her cheek. “All of them. Even most of the counselors.”

She gave a sigh. “I’m not alone,” was her priceless reply.

That’s right, you’re not. You’re going to meet so many other kids who are fighting this monster just like you. And although it’ll be lurking there in the midst of the camp, you’re all going to have so much fun, it’ll be like a collective punch to the fiend’s face.

Lastly, I feel guilty. Why? Because as I said in the beginning of this little jaunt, Jennifer and I are now completely unplugged from the scene. In a sense, we get a break from the constancy of our daughter’s care. But I don’t want a break. She doesn’t get a break, and so I don’t want a break. It’s with her day and night, and so I want it to be with me day and night. I want to carry as much of the load for her as I can. With that, there’s guilt.

In the end, I know the experience will be a wonderful one for her. She’s going to make a lot of friends and she’s going to learn so much about how the other kids wrestle through it all, too. Who knows? Maybe by the time she gets home she’ll finally be convinced by a cabin mate that she really should try an insulin pump. Either way, I know the Lord will bless and keep her in His loving care. And when she comes home, we’ll be here to scoop her up, hear all of her wonderful stories, and then continue on together from where we left off, knowing that one day, in the realms of heaven, this stupid disease will be a thing of the past.

But again, until then, we’re in this together and we’ll keep going.

A Child in Prayer

I don’t know if I’ve shared this with you or not, but throughout the school year, I’ve called up the eighth grade boys to something new. I’ve scheduled them to help serve as lectors during the Monday chapel services. This means that sometime between arriving at school and the beginning of the Matins service at 8:10 a.m., the one on duty for that day makes his way down to the nave, gets vested, and then looks over the Epistle reading appointed for the upcoming Sunday. And then during the service, he reads it to the children.

I can say that over the course of the year, the young men have gotten much more comfortable in the effort and are doing a splendid job. But simply to report this is not why I am sharing the account. I want to share something a little more inspiring—something that serves as a reassurance to all of us that our Christian Day School is worth every bit of toil and tears we’ve put into it over the years.

When I walked into the nave to set the lectern and lectionary in place for the service (which I usually try to do long before anyone else is in there), the student for the day was already there, vested, and kneeling at the altar rail praying. I, of course, did not do what I’d gone into the nave to do until he was done. I didn’t want to disturb him.

But there he knelt in the vastness of an empty nave—the candles aglow beyond him, the windows darkened by the early morning snow—and he prayed silently. One of God’s little ones was acting on God’s promise that he had complete access to His Savior, offering petitions from his heart that he had, in that moment, been moved to speak.

If I could’ve taken a photo, I would’ve. It was an instant reminder that we aren’t just trying to educate children according to the typical philosophies; that is, we aren’t just trying to create workers who have skills and personal styles to fill and perform jobs, or to develop active citizens who recognize their own capacity for personal achievement and contribute to the society. Of course we try at these things, but in the end, we have a much more important goal behind our efforts. Everything we attempt to do here at Our Savior arises from the objective truth of the Gospel—the good news of the forgiveness of sins through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And with that as our constant heading—our north star of calibration—we are really striving toward a better thing, which in my opinion, Luther defined pretty well when he took a moment to comment on the goals of Christian education. He said so simply that the job of a Christian school is to bring children “to believe, to live, to pray, to suffer, and to die.”

In any school, there are struggles and there are successes. I just witnessed one of the fruits of success, and for that, I am humbly thankful to God that Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran School exists and that it continues to move forward supported by you as you are moved by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel!

Keep it up! Consider this little story for all that it is: a Gospel-driven encouragement to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58)!