I love, love, love this photo! Madonna just remodeled their pediatric outpatient waiting area and this is on the wall above some of the chairs. It made me think instantly of Ryan and all the other little ones facing battles for health and wellness. There are many. And they are definitely heroes. So many of our kiddos don’t get to experience the childhood that most of us got to taste, hear, see, smell and touch every single day. But they are resilient and if you ever want to see someone who knows how to dance in the rain, laugh through the pain and live life to the fullest in spite of difficulty, find a child battling cancer or a life altering disease or the loss of a limb or the heart break of a parent taken too soon. That is the essence of joy right there. It is I Thess 5:16-18 in the flesh ~ Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Because little ones know how to do that.
And in this warm and cozy, cinnamon-smelling place where I get to rest my head every night and wake up every day to sleepy eyed kids who give the best “I love you momma” and squishy hugs, we have three superheroes who are often found behind the scenes, in the background of the smallest superhero’s adventures. Those three are the real superheroes in this house. They are the ones who sacrifice time with friends to serve their brother. They change a 100 pound boy’s poopy diapers without grumbling, they stay up late to make sure he is tucked into bed when mom and dad aren’t home even though they wished they had been cozy and comfy in their own bed an hour ago. They patiently pick up toys and socks and every other little thing their brother throws all over just so they can enjoy the sweet giggles that escape him when he throws things. They keep him secure on the edge of a chair or gently lower him to the floor when he is standing as seizures ravage his body and make him unsteady. They whisper sweet promises of love as those same seizures attack him for long periods of time. They hold their brother and cuddle him when he is crying in pain or gagging because his stomach once again wants to revolt. They cry tears behind closed doors. They pray the most heartfelt requests for comfort to a God who gave them this compassion and love for a broken brother and for the other broken this world holds. They serve and trust a God who is changing them and making them the superheroes they are. They wear a protective layer of resilience to guard their hearts and minds from the stares, the rude comments, the judgmental laughter. They know how to laugh in spite of stress, how to put on a happy face and encourage their friends in spite of their own breaking hearts. They take the assignment before them and instead of being angry at the big boss upstairs, they embrace the good, the bad, the ugly, the laughter, the smiles, the nosey kisses, the snuggles while watching baby cartoons that don’t interest them.
And I, along with Travis, get to be the keeper of the gate at this home filled with superheroes. It’s my privilege and honor to feed them, pray for them and be blessed by the goodness they bring into my world. My superheroes – Brad, Sidney & Trevor – are God’s angels in the flesh.