This has been on my mind all weekend. The other day I was at King's Island with my family for a few days. We had a fantastic time. Avery conquered The Beast, Sadie rode her first roller coaster (Little Bill's Giggle Coaster), and Karrie and I loved every second of their giggles and smiles. It was a very cool vacation. While we were there on Tuesday we noticed that there seemed to be an unusually large number of kids in wheelchairs or large families helping kids who were handicapped around the park. It turns out that the day was KI's "Make a Wish Day." Families from the tri-state who had terminally ill kids were invited to "run the park" for free. We were blown away.
While we were there we met a very special family - Eric, Dina, Sydney, and Sadie Nelson. Here is a little bit of their story:
Sydney is a beautiful 6 year old who was born with a genetic mutation which causes Dravet's Syndrome. There are less than 500 confirmed diagnosis in the world, although many more are suspected to be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. There is no known cure and she will never outgrow it. This syndrome causes every type of seizure as well as progressive mental and physical development delays. Many Dravet kids are non-mobile, non-verbal, or both and are severely retarded before puberty. Sydney is on the mild side of the delay spectrum thus far, praise God.
Sadie is Sydney's little sister (she is 4). She has an unrelated neurological dysfunction called Severe Apraxia, which prevents her from talking.
Karrie and I were struck by this family's joy and resilience. As we spoke with Dina she mentioned how fortunate they were to not have kids who were confined to wheelchairs or on breathing assistance. They were, somehow, blessed. I was blown away.
Earlier in the day I was worried that it was going to rain. The forecast was for rain off and on during the day. I specifically prayed, "God, could you provide a minor miracle today?" Can I be real honest and just say what a stupid thought that is?
Think about it. Exactly what makes a miracle "major" or "minor?" What qualifies as "major?" Where is the cutoff between a "small" miracle and a "big" miracle?"
From my standpoint shouldn't EVERY miracle be major? Seriously, when have I ever performed a miracle?
Um, never ...
I was inspired by the Nelson family. They challenged me. Here I am praying for a "minor" miracle of no rain; here they are praying for a "major" miracle of healing. Here I am thinking, "God's never going to hold back the rain." Here they are thinking, "God's going to do the impossible."
At times my pride is so big and my faith is so small that I actually believe that a) I deserve a miracle, and b) God's miracles are "minor."
At the end of the day I left with a renewed faith in God's bigness and a keen awareness of my smallness. From here on out it's ALL big to me!
On a closing note, it rained both days we were there, but I had a great time playing with the girls in the rain. I think the next "minor" miracle I will pray for is that the Nelsons will get to play with their girls in the rain too ...
For more information on Eric, Dina, Sydney, and Sadie, please check out www.hopeforsydney.com.