Monday, August 30, 2010


I don't know what he is thinking.

I never have.

He's always been a thinker, and not much of a talker.

When he was little and would come home from school, I'd ask, "What did you do today?"

The answer was always the same. "Nothing."

I'd ask his brother the same question. He would say, "Well, I walked into my room, and I put my backpack away. Then we read a story and it was about . . . Then we did this in math. I played with so and so on the playground and then we did this . . .

He'd tell me all about his day, in great detail.

But not Ethan. He always said, "nothing."

I don't ask him about his days now. I know what they are like. I don't ask him what he did with his time or what he did when I wasn't with him. I pretty much know the answer. I know the routine.

But, I do ask him what he's feeling. I ask him what he's thinking.

The answer is still, "nothing."

I've told him he can tell me. That I can handle it. I tell him that God has made me strong.

But he doesn't tell me. I think he knows I already see too many of his disappointments, and that I already know too many of his regrets.

He doesn't want to hurt me.

He keeps it inside.

Ethan not telling me doesn't stop my wondering.

I wonder what he is thinking...

when everyone is standing and he is sitting.

when others are doing what he wants to do

when he sees someone else's bride

when he holds the child of his best friend.

I wonder what he is thinking...

when he's the only person in a wheelchair at the restaurant.

when he has to use the lift to get in and out of the pool

when people stare at him

when he has to be held to stand

when he watches golf on television.

when he has to try so hard to do the simplest things.

I wonder.

I wonder what he is thinking...

when he has no privacy.

when he lays in the dark and he knows he can't get up
by himself.

when he thinks about his future, and the one he thought he would have.

I wonder.

I don't know.

I can only imagine.


there is One who knows.

There is One who has suffered in the same way. There is One who knows Ethan's silent tears, and every thought he has ever had. There is One that knows Ethan's forward as well as He knows his backward.

There is One that can bring peace to his fears. And One that can bring comfort to his disappointments.

There is One that can bring good from Ethan's mistakes. Good from all of his regrets.

There is One that can bring hope when there is no reason for it.

I can't do that for Ethan.

Even if he told me what he was feeling, what he was thinking, I couldn't give him what he needs.

I am thankful that Jesus came, and was willing to suffer what we suffer, and that He was willing to be tempted in the same ways we are tempted, so He can help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 2:18)

I am thankful that God knows what it is like to be Ethan.

I am thankful that God knows what it is like to be Ethan's mother.

"O Lord, You have searched Ethan and have known him. You know his sitting down and his rising up. You understand Ethan's thoughts from afar off. You comprehend his path and his lying down, and are acquainted with all his ways. For there is not a word on Ethan's tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged Ethan behind and before, and laid Your hand upon him. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain it."
from Psalm 139


246. that God knows what it's like to be Ethan
247. that God knows what it's like to be me
248. that Jesus was willing to suffer and to be tempted for us

249. for words known, though unspoken
250. that we are never alone with our thoughts and our fears
251. for redeemed regrets
252. that He knows our forwards as well as our backwards
253. for knowledge too wonderful
254. The Light that shines brightest in the darkness
255. the darkness that shows us The Light

256. studying God's Word with friends
257. that By Faith we can . . .
258. for parables that teach God's grace
259. a good movie on a rainy day
260. and people I love to watch it with


  1. Tough thinking about what he's thinking. But like you said, God is our healer inside and out. He still has a plan for Ethan.

  2. I believe that Ethan's compassionate heart is going to find its place of service, and we are all going to be amazed.

    Your humility and your wonderful way with words get me every time.