This past Monday night found me at the local emergency room with a child who had stuck a penny up his nose. As we drove the 35 minutes to the hospital, we had a good chance to talk. I want to relay to y'all the story as it unfolded, and how I used it to teach my son a spiritual lesson.
I know that, as Moms, we want to show our children how to apply the Scripture to everyday life. This is one of the questions I get asked most often; how to get the Scripture into a child's heart through daily situations. This trip to the ER served as a great reminder to me of just how easy it is to teach your child what the Word says. Plus, it convicted me of my need for God as well, so it was a win/win.
We had just tucked our kids into bed on Monday night. It was around 9:00. Our oldest son and his wife were here, and their baby was asleep in my bedroom. My husband, three of the older kids, my son and his wife, and I were sitting in the living room. And then, it was like that section of "The Night Before Christmas"...you know, that part that says, "...when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter..." Yeah, that part.
All of a sudden, we heard the worst kind of hollering and crying. You know the kind Moms. Not the kind that says that someone is pestering me, but the kind that says somebody is seriously hurt. My husband was standing near the kitchen door, and I was sitting down. As soon as we heard it, we looked at each other.
Then we heard a child shouting, "Mom!!! Mom!!! Help me!!! Please, Mom...help me!!! I'm so scared...I'm so scared...Mom...please...please..." At this point, we, all 6 of us that were up, were heading very quickly to the back of the house. My husband was first on the scene. And I am almost embarrassed to tell you that at first, I couldn't tell you which child it was.
So my husband opened the closed bathroom door just in time for me to rush in. Our son was sitting on the side of the tub, kinda against the corner, hugging himself and continuing to say, "Mom...please help me...I'm so scared...". It was then that I saw the blood. There was blood everywhere. I mean all over him, all over the wall, all over the sink, on the floor. I knelt down in front of him and tried to figure out what was going on. I thought that maybe he had cut himself, and that would have explained all the blood. But no. No cuts. And he was trying to tell me something, but he was frankly so hysterical that I was having trouble understanding him.
He finally got it out..."I've got a coin in my nose." Okay. I asked for a flashlight, while he continued to be absolutely beside himself.
You know what? It is VERY dark up a kid's nose. Yeah, I couldn't see anything. Except a whole lot of blood. And then the story started to come out. It doesn't sound very plausible to me, but it's his story and he's sticking to it. He was holding a coin in his bed. His nose started to itch, and without even thinking, he scratched it. The coin slipped in there, but he didn't come tell me. He decided to try to get it. It went further in. He still didn't come get me. Nope, he stuck his finger up his nose to try to grab the coin.
It went so far in that he couldn't feel it anymore. But he still didn't come get me. He got up and went into the bathroom to see if he could blow his nose really hard and make it come out. When he blew his nose, blood went everywhere. At this point, he still did not call to me. He started crying, and when he cried, he sniffed. That made the coin go back even further, and he could feel it when he pressed against the side of his nose, under his eye.
And that is when the hollering began. Only when he had tried everything else did he call out to me for help. And at that point, I could not get him to calm down and listen to me because he was so worked up and scared. No matter what I said, no matter what we did, he was just absolutely freaking out. When I couldn't see the coin, I told him to get his shoes on because we needed to go to the ER. I think he must have associated that with death itself, because it sent him into a frenzy. Thankfully, my wonderful daughter-in-love was right there.
See, Heather used to work at a hospital. She kept on reassuring him while I was putting my shoes on. She was telling him not to worry, that the doctors could get it out easily. (She told me the next day that she wasn't actually sure what they could do, but at that point, reassurance seemed better than total medical correctness. LOL!!) She did manage to get him calmed down before we left.
At the hospital, it took the doctor about 20 minutes to remove it. Those are 20 minutes that I never want to relive. But it's the conversation that we had on the way to the hospital that I want to talk about today. The child kept saying how stupid it was of him to keep trying to get it out without calling me. He said, "I should have come to you as soon as it went in there instead of making it worse and getting myself so scared. Plus, we wouldn't be on the way to the ER if I had been smart."
And it was then that the Lord showed me a big spiritual lesson.
I told him, "Honey, isn't that what we do to God? I know I do. Instead of depending on Him at the very beginning, I wait until I have gotten myself into so much trouble that I am screaming, 'Oh God!! Help me!!! I'm so scared!!!'"
See, if he had come to me at the first, we could have grabbed a pair of tweezers and slipped the coin right out. But he didn't. He tried to fix everything on his own. And as Christians, we do the same thing far too often.
How bad do things have to get before we cry out to our Father? Why do we continue to make a bigger mess of things instead of asking for help at the first?
I asked my son, "What can we learn from this?"
He said, "We should always ask for help when we first need it and not try to fix things. Trying to fix it myself made it a lot worse."
And so I learned a lesson. I need to ask my Father for help every day. First thing in the morning, before I make a mess of the day, I need His help to get things right. If I don't ask Him for help first thing, pretty soon I will be crying and hollering as I watch the day spin right out of control. And the more I try to fix things, the worse it will get.
I hope this helps you see how to take an everyday thing and turn it into a spiritual lesson for yourself and your children. Honestly, I needed it as much as he did. Now, let's just hope I can remember it.