Monday, February 13, 2006

Vehicle for a Miracle

On a frequent basis, I meet people who have sick children. Often, they are in critical situations. I am referring to the heart pounding, frightful and ever so fragile situations of having a child who is critically ill. We often hear the term" critical condition" or "stable but critical condition". As spectators, we hang on the word "stable" and assume all is ok. Without having experienced it, it is hard to imagine or absorb how fragile and tenacious this situations are.
A wide range of emotions are confronted. I met a parent recently who was struggling with the unanswerable question of Why. She broached the subject of death on more than one occasion as her infant daughter's life remained in balance.
"I always had my guard up, never taking life for granted. When the doctor did a sonogram and said that everything would be ok, I let my guard down." Struggling to find an answer, Guilt was on hand to provide an answer. Seemingly a logical response:” It is all my fault".
The feeling of guilt is over powering for parents in general but under the circumstances, clearly Guilt has the upper hand. But even more than that, she was preparing herself. There is a prevailing feeling that somehow, if we prepare ourselves, the blow of death will be gentler. Yet the reality is that you are never prepared for death. It is always a shock no matter what the scenario. Contrary to popular belief, the pain is not lessened by negative thoughts or pessimistic perspectives. In addition, there is a feeling that if you beat yourself up, then somehow that will be added to the scale. She did not realize that beating yourself up isn’t a zechus.
I told her that when given the choice between 2 approaches, 1 negative and 1 positive and there is no practical difference, always choose the positive approach. Choosing to be negative won't make things better.
One of the thoughts that got us through those 6 weeks in the hospital was based upon this past week’s parsha. It was more than a vort; it was our way of life. Why does G-d dictate the world by the laws of nature? And once G-d has chosen to do so, why would those laws ever be broken? When Moshe raised his staff to split the sea, the sea did not part. It wasn't until Nachshon ben Aminadav plunged into the sea until the water reached his neck, that the waters parted. G-d makes the laws of nature to "hide" himself. Hester Panim. When we choose to see beyond the laws of nature and pierce through that mask, we make ourselves a vessel for a miracle. If we choose not to bind ourselves to the laws of nature, then Hashem will not bind us by those laws and we become a vessel to accept a miracle. We become the vehicle for that Nes.
So as long as we see Hashem, beyond the tubes and doctors and statistics, and we recognize that Hashem is not bound by technology or medicine, then Hashem can create a miracle. I don't claim that this is in any way a sure fire approach but at the end, you will benefit. Even if the outcome, chas vashalom, is not what we wanted, then at least, we get the zechus of believing in Hashem against all odds. Against logic, Nachshon ben Aminadav plunged into the sea, and became the vehicle for the geulah. May we be zoche to see our own geulah, both individually and collectively speedily in our days!


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My Goal is to post at least 2x per week on Sunday and Wednesday.