Arkansas Children’s Hospital ~ The Eighth Day

On the seventh day at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, there was rest. Some friends visited from Fayetteville bearing gifts and a bit of reprieve. Then, on the eighth day, I woke and found that my way of prayer has changed.

For months I prayed for Titus’ mystical healing, a magical salve. I bowed with a community of people, hands laid on a baby’s head and belly, and prayed in good-right faith that his body would grow. I prayed by morning, noon, and night, as if I could will the will of God. But God’s will sometimes seems obstinately fixed and today, this eighth day, Titus’ feeding tube seems even more fixed.

Today I prayed more decidedly simple, more in the moment. In the moment I gave thanks for a Methodist church in Little Rock that heard our story, whose women’s group knitted a blue prayer shawl for Amber. I prayed blessings on the friend’s aunt who brought homemade bread and honey butter, the smells of home cooking. Chuck and Phyllis sent us Mother Earth News and home-brew from Russellville, and on the eighth day I thanked the Lord for their generosity and solidarity. I place a premium on solidarity these days.

Today I prayed for Titus, for God’s will to be done.  That prayer is any parent’s undoing. At the same time, it is the steel of my will.

Yes. I prayed more simply on the eighth day. Simply for the bed of our home place where Amber and I will lay our heads and take heart soon. We’ll know what it means to endure then, and my prayer will be:

Bless us, oh Lord,
and these Thy gifts
which we have received
from Thy bounty
through Christ, our Lord.

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20 Responses to Arkansas Children’s Hospital ~ The Eighth Day

  1. hopefulleigh says:

    What a prayer, Seth. What a reflection. Praying alongside you.

  2. kendal says:

    “That prayer is any parent’s undoing.” oh. yes. i’m praying for that little guy. and you and amber. and those brothers.

  3. Aunt Pam says:

    What a prayer. My heart cries for you. I’m praying for your family and those that are there helping to take of you all.

  4. Indeed. The hardest and the best prayer we know. Praying it with you, friends. And SO grateful for the prayer shawl ministry – it was one of my favorite things when I pastored. They would show up in my office, in grocery bags, with notes attached – all made by loving hands who prayed for the recipient, whoever he or she might be. And as I laid the shawl around those in pain (or in celebration for a new babe), I said: “As close as this shawl is to your skin – our God stands even closer. You are covered by the prayers of the saints, you are covered by grace.” And of course, you are, Seth. You are. And Titus, too. And Amber, and all your lovely ones.

  5. Alana Morgan says:

    Prayers from Murrieta, CA joining yours. Even in this God is in control. May His peace cover you all.

  6. Sarah H says:

    I have prayed that so many times before meals that I’d forgotten what I was saying. Thanks for bringing the meaning back to it. Love you all much and continuing to pray!

  7. Laura says:

    Praying fervently for you and Amber and your boys! What mighty men of strength you two are raising alongside the raising up God is doing within them! I know that Titus is no exception and that God’s will for him is perfect. So hard to let go of our perfect for His. Praying, ever praying!

  8. Randi Perkins says:

    Seth, my heart aches for you & Amber, Titus, and your other boys….I am fervently praying for each of you.

  9. Nanny says:

    Seth, this is Nanny. I love your heart and what it means for the legacy you are weaving for your family. Truly a multigenerational faithfulness. Please whisper a love song from me to your sweet Titus. And hold Amber a few seconds longer for me. Let me know if I can help from here…in a tangible way, I mean. We will continue to pray…for God’s perfect will.

  10. HopeUnbroken says:

    praying alongside you. feeling alongside you. knowing He cares. and holds you. ever holds you. and Titus, too.

  11. Jennifer E says:

    My babies and I are praying for your baby boy.

  12. J.Ray says:

    and from Mexico I am undone with you.

  13. Brittany Tomaszewski says:

    Praying for your sweet family.

  14. The Jesus light is shining thru you like stained glass. Praying with you and thankful for the community that loves you.

  15. Amy Stump McCathran says:

    Seth, I’ve been reading about your sweet Titus and am in prayer for all of you! My heart is hurting for you and Amber. Praying for healing, strength, peace, and rest. Much love from a Mama Llama 🙂

  16. kconwayireton says:

    Seth, I hear your heartache. I prayed those words over my youngest, too, two years ago, almost to the day, at a different Children’s Hospital, when he was just a day old. That prayer is our undoing. It is also our remaking. Holding you and Amber and Titus close in prayer. Mine is for healing for that little guy, and hope and peace and more moments of joy and laughter for you and Amber and your older boys.

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  18. Prayers for you and your family.

  19. “Today I prayed for Titus, for God’s will to be done. That prayer is any parent’s undoing.” Oh Seth and Amber, the most terrifying, liberating prayer of them all. You teach us with your courage.


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