Monday, March 8, 2010
Please, Daddy, Don't Do That Again!
By Tim Wright
When my son was only about three years old, he and his sisters were playing
a game that involved chasing each other though the house with loud giggles
of laughter erupting every few minutes whenever one of them came close to
tagging one of their siblings.
The giggles were interrupted suddenly by a loud crash followed by a
blood-curdling cry of pain. I jumped to my feet and ran to the living room
where the apparent mishap had occurred. My son had come around the corner
too fast and had fallen head first into the corner of a table. I quickly
picked him up from the floor where he was lying and held him in my arms both
to comfort him and to examine the wound. Streams of blood gushed from his
By the time we reached the emergency room, his tears had subsided a bit, but
I was nervously anticipating the slight trauma still ahead of us. After
examining my son's forehead, the doctor confirmed that he would need to
stitch the wound in order for it to heal properly. The good news was that
the cut would require only one stitch. The bad news was that the doctor
planned to do it without any anesthesia. "We can stick him once or we can
stick him twice," the doctor informed me.
I was then told that giving him a shot to anesthetize the area would be just
as painful and traumatic as giving him the single stitch. The shot would
then have to be followed by a second "stick" to actually stitch up the
wound. I reluctantly agreed with the doctor and opted for the single
I encouraged my son that he was being a "brave little boy" as the doctors
and I gently strapped a restraining device around his tiny body to keep him
from thrashing around on the table during the procedure.
Inside, I was fighting back tears as he looked at me with frightened, but
trusting eyes. "Keep looking at Daddy," I encouraged him. "You're being a
very brave little boy." His huge eyes remained locked on mine as the doctor
gently washed out the cut and prepared to stitch the wound shut.
"Okay, here we go," the doctor said quietly. "It should be quick." "Keep
looking at me," I said, trying to smile and draw his trusting eyes into
mine. "Daddy's right here." With precision and swiftness, the doctor quickly
stabbed the curved needle into the swollen flesh near the cut on my son's
forehead. My son's eye's widened as he gasped in pain. Then in a whimpering
voice that carried the sweetness and innocence that only a three year-old
can summon, he looked up at me and said, "Please don't do that again,
My heart broke. How do you explain to your three year-old son that the pain
he is experiencing- the pain that, in his mind at least, was caused by
me-was inflicted with love, with a desire and design to bring healing? Oddly
enough, that is one of my most precious memories of my son's early
childhood. The procedure was over almost as quickly as it had begun and,
after a few hours, my son had returned to giggling with his sisters.
(Running in the house, however, was forever banned from that point onward.)
His trust and sweet response to the ordeal continues to pierce my heart with
love for him. This episode is also a reminder for me of our heavenly
Father's love and care for us and for those around us who may be
experiencing a painful season in life.
In my mind's eye, I can envision God holding us as our Father whenever we're
hurting and telling us to keep our eyes on Him and to trust Him, even if we
don't understand why things are happening to us. When we're tempted to blame
Him for our pain or to cry out, "Please don't do that again, Daddy," we can
take comfort in knowing that He is very near to us, that He loves us and to
trust that, even though we may not always understand, there is a higher
purpose at work in everything that happens to us.
So keep your eyes on Him. Trust Him. He's holding you and healing you. He
will never let you go. Know, too, that giggling-or however you experience
joy-will soon be a part of your life again.