Singing in the Infusion Room
by Jeff Osborne
We were in the infusion room awaiting a blood transfusion for Hailey. One of the girls sitting in a chair next to Hailey began singing to pass the time. It started with a tune from Pinocchio. Her notes were strong and beautiful. I complimented her on her wonderful voice. She quickly smiled and asked, "Do you want me to sing another?" I replied, "Yes, I'd love to hear another." Thirty minutes passed and she was still working through her repertoire of songs. Once she started she didn't want to stop. After each song she paused until I said, "Great job." Then she would ask, "Did I hold the high notes really long? Did my voice break-up during the song? Do I sing better than anyone you have ever heard?" To all of which I answered, "Absolutely." She then sang a song that really grabbed me. It was a tune from the Disney movie, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." The song was, "God Help the Outcast."
The words of the song went like this:
"I don't know if You can hear me, or if You're even there.
I don't know if You will listen to a humble prayer.
They tell me I am just an outcast. I shouldn't speak to You.
Still, I see Your face and wonder were You once an outcast, too?
...I ask for nothing, I can get by, but I know so many less lucky than "
I asked her to sing that song again. She repeated it. I told her it was my favorite song she had sung. I asked her if she would sing it to me each time I saw her in the infusion room. She smiled and agreed. What was it about this articulate 10 year old and this song that struck me. Was it the words, "but I know so many less lucky than I." Maybe it was the fact she was singing this song as an IV was pumping medicine into her body so she could fight the rare blood disease she's battled the majority of her young life. Those words kept replaying in my mind, "I know so many less lucky than I." Here sits a room filled with chronically ill children, some infants some teenagers, all fighting for their lives. These words reminded me God's goodness survives even in a place overflowing with pain and despair. I remembered no matter what valley we walk through someone is always walking through a deeper or darker one. I looked back at her and asked her to sing it one last time. She smiled and began singing. When she was done she stared off in the distance awaiting my response. I smiled at her with affirmation, but she couldn't see the expression on my face. You see, she can't see anything. She is blind. "I know so many less lucky than I."
How about you. Is this the song you sing in the midst of your trials? Do you feel fortunate while you walk through the valley of the shadow of death? Are you counting your blessings or are you making a list of shortcomings and complaints? Are you focused on failed dreams and unmet expectations?
Listen carefully to the song of a child and be thankful for your life right now, just as it is, not as it should be, not as it could be. Be thankful in the now.
God is good-all the time.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."