When Andrean was a newborn we were doing some last minute Christmas shopping at Walmart on December 23 (bad start to a story I know). The biting cold and blowing snow were daunting and with 3 young kids (2, 1 and newborn) I decided to provide safe passage by dropping them off close to the door. This meant I would have to stop our van, let them out as quickly as possible and resume driving so as to minimally disturb the traffic flow.
Some guy pulled alongside me as I let them out and I naively lowered my window to hear what he was quite deliberately telling me. The words were embarrassing to me for my children to hear and it triggered my protector instincts. I followed the guy to his parking spot and was surprised to see him get out of the car wearing a Santa Clause hat. I don’t know what I expected to do, but all I could think to say as I walked up to him was “Santa Clause hats are for nice people”. I sincerely meant to be meaner. Kind of a swing and a miss, eh? That was just the burst of words that flowed from an emotion that I have since learned to recognize.
As a father and husband, I feel a need to protect my family from ANY harm. Rarely is this from physical harm, but if it is watch out. More often it is protection of innocence, or of self esteem, or inaccurate teaching that they need to be careful with. Other times it is protection of hurt feelings or from physical hardship.
Those emotions are here now and I cannot do much about it. My wife is going into surgery tomorrow and my strong urge is find a way to drop her off on the other side of this hardship or to say to the ones causing some pricks, cuts and pain “Hey you, scrubs are for nice people.” So God, I call on you, “Protect my wife. Be with my children”. I know we will continue finding joy in the midst of this suffering.
Tonight when praying together, my prayer kind of sounded like a preschooler trying to ask for something. But she prayed, “Father, consecrate me because I believe tomorrow you will be in that operating room and I am not worthy to be in your presence.” Man, what kind of a woman did I marry. Little did I know when the big game was being played she would be this clutch.
Nicely done my beautiful wife. You should be wearing the Santa Clause hat.