By Kim Payne
When the topic of unexpected blessing was chosen as the theme for this series of blogs, I knew exactly what to do. I picked up my trusty Dr. Grip 0.5 mm lead mechanical pencil, my Pentel click eraser and my newly purchased black cloth covered just for blog ideas journal and started to write. In a matter of minutes, I had a nice list compiled. And now I’m going to share it with you. Are you ready?
1. Labor Day
2. The birth of my nephew
What? Those are too blessings. After all, being off from work most assuredly constitutes a blessing. One I’ve been looking forward to since July 4. And you know as well as I do the birth of a new baby in the family is –
Oh. I see. They aren’t “unexpected.” Well, I guess I have to agree with you there. Labor Day comes around every first Monday in September. And my nephew was expected for nine looooong months.
Well, if that’s the case, then maybe I don’t have any unexp… Wait a minute! There was this e-mail a friend of mine sent the other day. It arrived just when I needed a good chuckle. And then there was the phone call from my brother. He’s a Methodist minister who got bored on his way home from visiting a parishioner in the hospital. The cure for his boredom was to hassle his older sister. For me, that phone call was a much needed break from a rather intense work day. So yeah. Looking back on it, I have had some unexpected blessings.
That’s the thing when something unexpected this way comes. Often you don’t realize that it is a blessing until you look back on it in those quiet, reflective moments of the day. That is when God’s graciousness reveals itself.
A few days ago, I had one of the hardest meetings of my professional career. A three year old just been diagnosed with a much more profound hearing loss than any of us previously thought. The parents were frustrated because there are just no straightforward answers when it comes to this kind of thing. Will he do well with hearing aids? I don’t know. Does he need a cochlear implant? Perhaps. But no one can tell you how well he’ll do with one of those either.
Questions were answered as well as they could be and a small decision was made. I’d adjust the child’s hearing aids. We’d continue on the current course until the parents had a chance to go through all the information they were given and reach an ultimate decision.
The whole time I’m working on his hearing aids, he’s holding onto two stuffed Mickey Mouses I had in my office and I’m second guessing myself. Did I say the right things? Am I doing the right things for this child? When we finished, I looked at this precious little guy who probably can’t hear much of anything even with his hearing aids on and said. “Tell you what. I’ll trade you my big Mickey for the little one. You can take little Mickey home with you.”
His lips curled into a shy smile as he released the big stuffed animal and folded the small one into a gentle embrace. Did he hear me say those words? Probably not. Still, in that shy smile I found something desperately needed and completely unexpected – a blessing straight from the heart of a kind, gentle and loving God.