What's worth fighting for?
I was writing my column. I was trying to address a number of disputes that have arisen among home schoolers. The old dispute between Christian and non-Christian home schoolers has erupted publicly—mostly through secular sources. And in the middle of writing, my secretary walked in and handed me the following letter.
Dear HSLDA staff,
On Good Friday, March 29, in the early hours of the morning, God took our oldest son, Jim, home to be with Him.
Jim had flown to California with his 14-year-old cousin on March 26 to visit my parents for twelve days. They had gone to Disneyland Thursday and were having a great time when Jim got off a ride and complained of back pain and started vomiting.
My parents took Jim to Scripps Hospital for x-rays. They were there a couple of hours before doctors realized that Jim was “extraordinarily ill.” He was bleeding to death of a torn aorta.
A heart surgical team was assembled quickly, and they began an echocardiogram where they could see the tear. They were going to do an angiogram when Jim collapsed. They took him immediately into surgery, but there was nothing they could do. The aorta wasn't just torn; it was shredded. God took Jim to be with Him three days before Jim's 14th birthday.
We are now awaiting the autopsy report to find out what caused the aorta to be so weak. Scripps Hospital and the San Diego County Medical Examiner said they have never seen this happen to such a young boy. But we know that God makes no mistakes.
Jim was surrounded with Christian nurses at the hospital. My mom and dad were allowed to stay in the room with him. My parents had prayed with him, along with one of the nurses, even before they knew how serious Jim's condition was. My mom says that right after the prayer Jim’s eyes and face just glowed and a peace and calm came over Jim which never left him. God was with Jim every step of the way.
How thankful we are that we have home schooled Jim and our other two boys for the last six years! We have seen Jim grow and mature in a way most parents never experience. We were able to spend many hours a day with him. We have so many keepsakes and memories.
My brother-in-law, who had gone on many of the Disneyland rides with Jim said, “Jim had an innocence about him. You could tell he was untouched by the world.”
We cannot see the “whole picture.” But God can. God will use this for good because He promised! Already we are amazed to hear of so many lives that have been touched by Jim's home-going—lives that may have never been touched otherwise. Praise the Lord!
We miss Jim so! We love him so! It hurts to have him away from us, but at the same time we have a peace and assurance that comes from God. He is our Rock and our Shield. We put our trust in Him.
I just couldn't go on. The tears were overwhelming. God graciously used this letter to give me His perspective on the whole matter. Through this letter I understood that God does not want us to waste any time on petty disputes and gossip. There are real people, who are accomplishing mighty things for God in the lives of their children, who need our help.
So let others rage in vain. Let the rest of us ignore these disputings, bickerings, and gossip and keep our eyes on the goal of helping families who want to raise a godly seed.
We have precious children whom the Lord has entrusted to us. We have been given a high calling. Let's use the days and hours we have to make a difference in their lives. Anything less constitutes a waste of the time the Lord has given us. You never know when your time is going to run out!
An eternal perspective has a way of making one's priorities a whole lot clearer.
Michael P. Farris