Month's before my son was diagnosed with cancer I wrote this. Somehow it rings of a deeper truth to me; a place in the mind that transcends ... portends ... delivers.
Pacing under the garish fluorescent light his heart pounded in his temples and his lips trembled. His adolescent son was dying. Just days before he had been pacing the sidelines while the boy sprinted up the soccer field for a shot on goal.
Tyler’s kidneys were failing. The only way the doctors could stop the insidious attacker was an immediate transplant. Ben was devastated but couldn’t donate. A few years prior he had been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition.
His wife was not a match. The fraternal twin brother Cameron was a perfect match but had a heart condition that was inherited from Ben’s side of the family. The odds were not favorable for surgery on Cameron. There was no time. He felt responsible for it all.
The two boys were like a photo and its negative. Cameron was like his father, Tyler a carbon copy of the mother. He loved them both … his tall gray-eyed blond and the sinewy brown-eyed athlete with tangled dark hair.
How could God ask him to make this decision? He was afraid. He wanted to puke. As he paced further he cast a furtive glance through an open door and saw the stained glass and pews of a small hospital chapel and entered in.
He walked to the front of the dimly lit room. Here the antiseptic institutional smell became a thicker, sweeter aroma. He moved quietly to the cross at the front of the empty room and dropped to his knees. Clasping his sweaty palms he bowed his head and began to plead for the life of his sons.
Memories of the boys flooded his mind’s eye until he remembered. Once, he had heard a woman share about the death of her infant daughter. She had told the story of standing on a balcony begging for her child’s life … some miracle to change the reality as it was. She had shared that suddenly in her anguish she was suffused with a light that told her to let go. “Let go of your pain. Surrender your will to God.”
The frail, lovely saint shared that it was in that moment she had become free from the burden of her agony. She’d been able to surrender the life of her child to the heavenly Father. She understood, as her Bible had taught her, that she was only a steward. God had always been the Father and He would take her daughter into his loving arms.
There was no peace in this for Ben but he no longer felt so alone. His gut churned and the horror of powerlessness threatened to consume him. Suddenly he sensed the presence of someone near. He looked up and Cameron stood there crying.
“We know what you’re doing Dad and we need for you to stop,” the boy croaked.. “Never, for a moment, has either of us questioned how much you love us. Not for one second have we ever thought you loved one any more than the other,”
Cameron knelt down beside Ben, took his hands and with quavering voice explained, “There’s no choice to be made. Were Tyler to die and I hadn’t done everything in my power to save him … I don’t think I could go on. One thing I’m certain of is that I’d never forgive myself. It would be worse than death to let my brother die knowing I could have helped him and didn’t.”To this day, Ben says he’s not exactly sure what happened next. He tells me his only memory is of his gray-eyed child kneeling before him, as through the blur of his tears, Cameron became a man much too soon.