Again, I notice that it’s 2:30 in the morning. No one is awake but me, likely no one is in tears but me, at least in this house. Again, awake as the accusation rolls though my mind – the horrific mental image of my wife and I being thought of as abusive monsters.
Given all her bruises, marks and cuts – we figured it was only a matter of time before someone again questioned the source of this entire trauma. I recalled the first time we were called into question. In the emergency room for her first massive seizure, the ambulance delivered her, the physicians examined her, and the staff questioned us. It seemed so bizarre that we would have to explain to trained medical staff what “Mongolian Spot” was. The bruises they were examining were typical congenital pigmentation found on most Asian children; so much for diversity.
Bethany’s life has for many years been one of self-abuse and anyone who has ever spent time with her knows the physical impact on her body as well as the emotional toll that it takes on caregivers. Countless hours are spent intervening and redirecting the blows, mopping up the blood, changing the stained and torn clothing. After those many, many hours, to have someone formally imply that YOU were the likely source of the infraction is devastating.
How many nights did I lay awake thinking about the horror of even the accusation? We have in so many ways given our very lives for her and in kind, we’re affronted with a most horrible allegation. The tear rolls clumsily down my cheek and into my ear, for a moment occluding my hearing. The sounds of Sherry’s breathing are oblong and odd under the salt water. The tear isn't for me or my reputation, its prompted by even the thought that our care was somehow deficient, that Bethany was not safe in our home. I roll onto my side and pray for wisdom.
Wisdom comes slowly in the form of truth, patience, and a web of support that gently and directly informed the system of its error in judgment. The investigation was proof that someone cares for the welfare of those who have little voice of their own. I guess that, while the leveling of an accusatory finger in my direction is proof that no one is beyond reproach, it underscores the importance of continually remaining vigilant and on the defense. God has richly blessed us as a family and Satan wants nothing more than to destroy that harmony. He’s been wearing us down for years, now a more direct approach seems warranted.
Many will scoff at the idea of this being a spiritual battle. There is no God, there are no demons, and this is merely a bio-chemical imbalance. Environment and genetics can explain everything. Even the miracles in the Bible can be explained away, hemophilia, cerebral palsy, autism, seizures, even the feeding of the five thousand is justified by the simple explanation of a crowd wearing puffy sleeves loaded with food.
I assure you, no mortal on this earth is a bigger proponent for the success of Bethany than her mother and I. No one on earth knows the struggles she faces, the medical bewilderment she faces, or the inexplicable affect her life has on others; no one, but us. We see it, we know the power that surrounds her and we love both the God who loves her, and her.
Bethany’s most unremarkable life is far more remarkable than our lives will ever prove to be. God’s got a great plan for her; we’re just here to enable it until it comes to fruition – tears, trials and all.