One of the most powerful experiences of my life, especially in hindsight, involved the blessing of my second son. He was born three weeks early, but, other than being very small, there was no sign of any physical problem. He left the hospital on schedule and grew normally until this day - nearly 22 years later. Nothing remarkable, until you consider:
When he was blessed, I heard myself tell him that none of the physical trials he would experience in this life would have the power to divert him from the mission God had given him. I was surprised, as was my wife.
1) Five years later, we held him back in Headstart for a year to get additional help with a speech articulation issue. A nationally known speech therapist worked with him at no cost, because I was teaching two of her children in school - a job I felt prompted to take even though I wanted a different one.
2) Ten years ago, his appendix burst - apparently after leaking for about a week. The doctor told us it was the worst case he'd ever seen where the patient lived. He was in surgery for about eight hours.
3) Six years ago he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes - perhaps because the poison from his appendix bursting had affected his pancreas. We don't know for sure, but there is no history of Type I diabetes in our families, so . . . (Our children have a long-standing pool focused on which of his organs will fail next.)
4) He is the only one of our six children who has extreme, nearly constant allergies.
5) All of us wear glasses, but his eyesight is the worst of the bunch.
6) He is the most naturally caring and spiritual kid I think I've ever met in my entire life. People are drawn to him immediately because he simply radiates joy and goodness and love and gentility. He has been an inspiration and help to more people in more ways than I can begin to elaborate. He just shines - and people flock to feel his light.
I believe deeply in the concept of blessings being a conduit of God's will in those situations where God has something He really needs to communicate - and I feel just as deeply that I was the instrument through which He cradled and blessed my son over 21 years ago. If that was the only experience with the divine I had ever had, it would be enough to convince me that there is a "God" who watches and knows us by name - and who knows the natural stuff we will experience as a result of mortality.
Different ways of learning in the temple
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