If you’ve been around here for very long, chances are you’ve caught me discussing my daughter’s diabetes. Talking about it, wrestling with it, trying to find the reasons behind it or trying to find out if there’s a reason at all. It’s one of those things that can be tough to figure out if you subscribe to the idea of a loving God.
To say my daughter’s disease is a part of His will leaves a bad taste in my mouth (it’s metallic, that taste, like having pennies in your cheeks).
To say that it’s meant as a blessing tastes even worse. Come stay with her for a couple days and see if you can say that. You might still be able to, but I bet you won’t be able to look me in the eye.
But to say that there isn’t a reason at all, that it’s just one of those things because life just kind of sucks sometimes, doesn’t really sit well either. That just makes me think that it all either caught God by surprise or He just didn’t care enough to do anything about it. And as jaded as her diabetes can make me sometimes, I’m not willing to abide by either of those theories.
So I usually just keep quiet about it. I focus on making sure her sugar is the best it can be. Make sure she eats the right things and exercises and gets the proper dose of insulin. I tell myself that the Why doesn’t matter because that’s something I can’t control, that it’s the What I’m supposed to worry myself with because I can somewhat control that.
Still, that Why has a way of sneaking up. It preys on my mind. I’m sure you understand. We all have our own Whys.
It was preying on my mind last night at three o’clock in the morning. The Witching Hour, some call it. That time of night when the darkness is the darkest and supposedly the veil between the worlds of the seen and unseen thin enough that they intermingle. Her sugar had bottomed out. I was trying to keep her awake enough to drink some juice and not doing a very good job. She kept nodding off, and I’d have to shake her. That’s when the Why came again.
“I’m sorry you have to do this,” I whispered to her.
She nodded—she always nods at three in the morning, that’s all she can do—and felt for the straw in her cup.
“I wish I could make it go away.”
Nod and slurp, and I figured that if she wasn’t asleep yet she would be soon, which meant I’d have to shake her awake again so she could finish. And then I’ll have to wake her again fifteen minutes later to make sure her sugar was going in the right direction.
“I know it’s not fair.”
But not a nod that time. That time, it was, “It’s okay. We love each other through it.”
She finished her juice and curled up under the blankets again. I sat there watching her, trying to figure out if what she said was just her sleep or herself. I figured that didn’t matter.
I also figured that if there really was a reason, maybe that was it. Maybe that’s why God allows so much suffering. Because through suffering we learn not just to love, but to love more.
And if this world needs anything, it is that.
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