Ali is doing so much better. Being with her and the beautiful and charming Susan over the weekend was huge for me. I don't know if it did anything for anyone else, but I was lovin' it.
It's hard to pry yourself away from Ali just for a short time. When I'm in the room with her, all my emotions and thoughts about her tragedy evaporate and incredible love for this child floods me. But leaving Ali to go back to the hotel was hard. Coming home kills me. I think about everything else. I think, "how could someone do this to a baby?" I think, "what must my daughter be going through--how can she even handle this?" I think, "How can I fix this and make everything alright?"
I can't fix it. I have to walk through this. I can't run. I can't take an alternate route. I have to see this through.
Everything I do right now is just a temporary distraction from what my life has become. Even writing this post. Even making sure you all stay updated. It takes my mind off things for a few minutes. But then I always comes back to it and my emotions overwhelm me. Then I feel guilty about it because I know that I'm not the only one walking through this. My wife, Charity, Ali's other grandparents (pray for John and Ruth) who have a granddaughter in the hospital and a boy in jail, are all going through this. But I can only feel what I feel. As a pastor, I'm called to empathize and comfort the hurting, but what do I do while I'm in the middle of it and run out of distractions?
I try to get alone with God. With beautiful and charming Susan out there on the West Coast and me here in Florida, I have time. I read God's Word, I pray, I cry before the Lord, and I read the Psalms David wrote. Thank goodness David had the spiritual insight to capture with pen and paper what he was experiencing in his relationship with the Lord no matter what. It takes away the aloneness. I've been reading and re-reading and underlining and outloud praying these Psalms of David. And it helps. I'm believing it's healing me and maybe even making me wiser.
I've also been reading Phillip Yancey's Where is God When It Hurts. Our pastor's wife gave this book to us a couple of years ago when we were going through what we thought then was the trial of our lives. Which, by the way, the Lord got us through with what turned out to be some minor tweaks in our lives and a little bit of wisdom. Maybe in a short while we'll be looking back on this and say something similar. I hope so.