Sleeping through the storm

Most of the infants we see in Sheba Hospital are scared, restless, uncooperative, and crying, all understandably so, but it was a treat when I got to meet the peaceful and happy Machmoud. When I got to sit next to him in the car, he at first just seemed tired, but after making some silly faces and getting a smile, he was simply calm, relaxed, and content with his situation. His mom was very eager to let me hold him, which I absolutely loved to do, and did not object.

After a short wait, we eventually got into the echo, which seemed to go well; he was happy and smiling for much of it, playing around and looking around calmly and with deep peace. After the echo and before we talked to the doctor, we had to get a routine ECG in the next room. When got through all the other tests without much concern but when it came time to check his blood oxygen level, an issue arose. His spO2 would go from around 70 (which is normal for his condition), and within a matter of seconds drop down to as low as the high 40s, before jumping back up to the 70s after about 20 seconds. The technicians thought that the machine was broken, it was so odd, but our worst fears were confirmed as Machmoud’s little lips and fingers started to get hints of blue and purple. Eventually, they tested his spO2 on three different machines, and all came to the same results.

It was after this final test, that I returned to the room after dealing with some other hospital business, and while the chaos of doctors, nurses, and technicians surrounded him, and his mother was battling her fear and worry, he was taking a little nap. Throughout the day he was filled with a deep sense of peace, not just an overflowing, hyper joy that many of our kids have, but he truly went through the day with a spirit of peace in any situation. It reminded me of Jesus sailing across Galilee, while his disciples panicked about the storm, praying and planning, but Jesus slept, preserved by an inner peace only given by God. I could see Jesus’ statement shining through him, asking “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40)

Our faithful, and tired, baby boy ended up being hospitalized for the night, they will see how he does overnight and reevaluate in the morning what we should do. In the chaos of the day, the doctors didn’t write his echo report, so we don’t know the specifics, but had the results been pressing we have faith that the doctors would communicate that information. At the end of the day, we left both of them, Machmoud still with such a deep sense of peace, beckoning us to cling to our faith in God, to pursue that peace because we have a loving God, who fulfills his promises and carries us through all things.

As a community, we will pray for his well-being and for his mother to also gain peace, but I think I will share this example of faith and peace with our community, so that we will pray to have a peace and faith like his, like a child’s.