My wife Joy & I had our first child on July 16th, 2015! His name is Landon, and he has a rare heart defect called HLHS that requires three open-heart surgeries. This blog post is a journal entry from our time at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia during the recovery period after open-heart surgery when Landon was less than 6 months old:
Today Landon was so peaceful & still, watching the dancing colors of his musical toy attached to the side of his bed. Joy & I approached his bed, spoke softly just to let him know we were there, and his eyes met ours. He looked up, recognized us, and then started sobbing out of his mind…
It was excruciating. It was like he was saying, “Why Dad? Take me home! It’s so painful here.” This whole process sucks: for us, for Landon, for our extended family. There’s really no way to make it sound better than it is. It’s awful. The amazing medical staff here at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia save lives, but there’s nothing they can do to ease the suffering.
Today though, I got to meet a man named Prasanna. He moved to the U.S. from India 8 years ago. He & his wife Pria have 2 sons: Shaan & Ayaan. We talked about his son Ayaan who is only 5 weeks old with a significant heart defect.
We talked about his Hindu faith. I asked some questions. He told me he’s not very religious, but he’s a “little spiritual.” He feels that all religions basically teach us to love and care for each other.
We eventually talked about Jesus. I told him that I can’t get over his resurrection and his example. Eventually I gave Prasanna the mini-book Making Sense of Suffering by Joni Eareckson Tada He thanked me for it, and he said he’s willing to receive anything that has “good” in it.
It wasn’t a long conversation, maybe 10-15 minutes. It all started because I was falling asleep on the only table in the Ronald McDonald room where he came to eat lunch. In John 4, Jesus kept going even when he was exhausted, and he took advantage of opportunities to share good news.
I want to be like Jesus. I want to represent him well. I don’t feel adequate, prepared, or well studied in comparative religions. I can’t debate the Hindu faith with any type of expertise, but I can build relationships. And ultimately, I wouldn’t have these specific opportunities if Landon didn’t have HLHS.