My emotions have been all over the board these last few weeks. I can’t really put my finger on why that is but I’ve definitely put some time
in thinking about it. The night of our first “HOPE” event, I was on cloud nine. The evening was amazing. It encouraged people just as we prayed it would. We were able to share Josh’s story and the vision of our ministry with dozens of new friends who have come alongside the ministry to support us. And the evening served as a “test run” for what we hope can be a recurring event in towns all over the country. (If you’d like to find out more about how you can help bring it to your town, give us a call 615.392.0772)
I’ve been a little angry lately as well. I’m not sure exactly where the blame for all of this goes but it’s initials are D.C. I admit, I let what goes on up in the Capitol drive me a little crazy. But I can’t remember ever being more disappointed in the direction of our country or being more frustrated by the 300 plus million Americans who are allowing this to happen. This isn’t about being a Democrat or a Republican. It’s about common sense, a Constitution and managing a budget. (First clue, negative numbers are not a good sign. You don’t spend what you don’t have.)
But the one emotion that took me by surprise came last week as we sat in Texas. Our team was working with some great people at Good Shepherd Hospital in Longview. We were given the opportunity to sit in on a safety meeting with their leadership. I love hearing how hospitals are responding to safety challenges in general and to Josh’s story, specifically. As the meeting wrapped up that day, our team remained seated at the conference table while we waited for our friend to finish up some business with a colleague. The girls began to talk. I began to weep.
I’m not sure if it was all the talk about safety over the previous two days. Maybe it was hearing from several people at the table that Josh’ story had already had a powerful impact on the staff at Good Shepherd. Maybe…just maybe, it was the realization that Josh’s birthday was fast approaching. Today, he would have been eleven.
But I was suddenly overcome with this thought: if only someone would have had a conversation with the staff in Savannah 9-1/2 years ago–a conversation just like the one I’ve had with dozens of hospitals and thousands of healthcare workers ever since that day–Josh might still be here today. If someone had stressed safety, talked quality or emphasized the importance of every 1/2 second, I’d be celebrating my son’s life in an entirely different way today. So I cried, resolved more than ever before to share Josh’s story and to believe that we can still make a difference. Not just in healthcare but across the spectrum of life.
I believe there are thousands and thousands of people from all walks of life who need to hear a message of hope, healing and forgiveness. So, I will go. I will share. I will make sure others know the hope we have and the power of forgiveness. It is a different way of celebrating his life. But its the best way I know to make sure his 17 months counted for something. Josh would want it that way.