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    The Flu: A Severe Mercy, Perhaps?

    January 2, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    Some of you know that we spent eight of the twelve days of Christmas in Florida visiting Si’s side of the family. It was full of parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second-cousins, and…germs. Another way to say this is, in the words of my dear husband, our last and final Christmas gift was influenza.

    It is hard to visit such a great multitude with any effectiveness, and it is even harder for unpracticed parents to keep track of their offspring, who tend to become the center of the multitude’s attention. Little E. was the number one hit of the year, let me tell you. And, unfortunately, he knew it.

    I knew this would happen, but what I didn’t expect was his response. Perhaps it is because he is older, but I literally felt his heart wandering from the family. He actually seemed to avoid us, and badly wanted to leave and be with others whenever possible. It was hard to balance the desire to keep his heart closely knit to ours with the desire of everyone else to bond with this little boy they rarely get to see.

    But pride grew in this little boy’s heart, and much disciplining ensued in the latter half of the week. By the last day, Si and I were discussing a little outing to try and romance him back into the family a bit. But the Lord had other plans.

    Friday was a horrid day. The flu struck E. and I quite hard first thing in the morning {our first day home!}, with very high temperatures and an overwhelming desire to sleep, which is what we did most of the time. What a severe mercy, indeed! The Lord knew that E. needed this. The two of us spent hours that day, on one couch together, sometimes sleeping, sometimes talking, sometimes just being silent.

    And by the end of the day, little E.’s heart came home.

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    1 Comment

  • Reply Josiah January 3, 2006 at 2:45 am

    Your analysis of our dear son was insightful. His heart, like any of ours, can grow quite selfish and narrow when fed with an abundance of himself. Despite its benefits, I am getting tired of wiping and blowing his “severe mercy.” Lord, please heal us quickly!

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