01 November, 2006

Pray for Ian!

Today I went to the hospital again to visit an old friend, Ian. His story is long and complex, so I won't explain it all here, but please check out his site for a quick explanation.

His father and girlfriend were there when I visited, and I stayed for about an hour. It's amazing watching him react to their encouragement. "Ian, can you move your arm for me? Your left arm? Your dad's touching it," says Larissa in a sweet tone. "Ian, stick your tongue out." "Ian, wiggle your toe. Just your big toe." Following each command, he seems to think for a while, and muscles spasm. Usually he can complete the task, and when he does he's greeted with his father's "good job, Ian! Good job!" that I've heard so many times applied to other kids, especially at Youth Camp. They both take turns stroking his mohawk (medically mandated) and gazing into his half-opened eyes. He was quite active today, more so than usual. His dad was moving his arms around, trying to keep them limber, and Ian was squeezing his hand. When Mr. Murphy moved like they were caught in an arm wrestling match, Ian pulled his arm toward his body with surprising force, which was really encouraging. Later, Larissa had to pry her hand out of his strong grip. It seems he is trying so hard to "wake up" and talk. It seems frustrating to him, that his love is cooing and stroking his face, but he can't respond!

I was so nervous when I walked into that room. But I'm glad I went. It was so powerful to see the love displayed for Ian. I had been asking God to show me what true love looks like, that I can prepare myself for marriage. While I was there God said, "Shannon, look. This is love. No man has greater love than this: That someone lays down his life for a friend." I had to kneel and continue praying, thanking God for the people who sacrificed so much to care for Ian through this trial.

I left as Larissa sang to him. "I can't see me lovin' no body but you...for all my life!" Such wondrous grace!

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