When I was in Kindergarten, I remember learning a song about the nature of life. Ironically, the song illustrates the perils of a nature walk–a walk through thick forests or deep jungle. I loved it because it activated my imagination. It made me feel as if I was a great explorer or archeologist. And it was so catchy! So catchy, in fact, that I remember the song today. I absolutely loved when my teacher would say, “Come on students, ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt!'”
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this song, please know that there is no violence done to bears during this expedition. The song chronicles a dangerous journey where you must face different obstacles. With each obstacle, the song repeats the same rhythmic assessment: “You can’t go over it. / You can’t go under it. / You’ve got to go through it.” The song is led in a call-and-response order where the Expedition Leader says the words and everyone repeats them in unison. “You can’t go over it. / You can’t go under it. / You’ve got to go through it.” My favorite part was the last line. I loved imagining going through the river or through the mud or through the cave. I giggled as my teacher would say, “You can’t go over it…You can’t go under it.” And I would celebrate the opportunity to take on the obstacle by going straight through it. I didn’t know it then, but, as a man, the obstacles get much bigger and much scarier.
Watching my son literally fight for every breath he takes is one of those obstacles that weren’t a part of my kindergarten bear hunt. At 26 weeks, babies do have their major organs, but they lack some of the more detailed processes that fine-tune the function of their organs. Without these processes, the organs cannot collaborate as they desire, creating regulations issues within the body (maintaining temperature or oxygen levels are two examples of this). Jesher is sick. We can’t go over it, and we can’t go under it. This bear hunt is different. It’s not games and imagination. It is life and death. And we have to go through it.
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
BLOOD–Jesher’s body is not yet creating platelets within his blood. Platelets are a critical part of the blood clotting process. Without these platelets, one prick of the finger or foot can start a 20 minute bleed. At his weight, Jesher on carries around 50cc of blood volume. So losing any amount of blood is very taxing on his body. In his current condition, he is constantly being pricked due to the need to monitor his internal processes. So bleeding external bleeding has been an issue for Jesher. Also, Jesher’s numbers suggest that he is also experiencing some internal bleeding. Without the clotting mechanism, Jesher will continue to lose blood. PLEASE PRAY THAT HIS PLATELET LEVELS WILL INCREASE IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
BRAIN–Jesher is experiencing bleeding on his brain. On the left side, he is experiencing a level 2 bleed (this is quite normal for babies of Jesher’s age and is caused by the birthing process). On the right side, he is experiencing a level 4 bleed (this signals the reality that the bleeding has caused the brain to be injured). One of the reasons we need the platelet levels to rise is so that the bleeding will stop in his brain. We also need Yahweh to heal any brain injuries that Jesher has sustained during the first 72 hours of his birth. The doctors cannot due anything for his brain at this time due to his size–he is too small for any surgeries to be attempted. In the words of the doctor (who is an excellent human being and practitioner), “We have to leave the healing of the brain up to Jesher.” PLEASE PRAY FOR HEALING TO BE GIVEN TO JESHER’s BRAIN AND THAT THE INJURIES SUSTAINED WOULD NOT GENERATE ANY COGNITIVE OR MOTOR DISORDERS OR DEFICITS.
LIVER–Jesher has neo-natal jaundice and is developing adult jaundice. This is caused by a his liver being immature and the waste disposal processes of the body not being fully functional at this time. Although he is now urinating and moving his bowels, this acid levels in his body are still far too high. This is resulting in jaundice beginning to set in, caused by the increase of bilirubin in his blood. As bilirubin levels rise, his brain development will be threatened. PLEASE PRAY FOR JESHER’s LIVER FUNCTIONS TO OPERATE BEYOND HIS YEARS–ALLOWING HIS BODY TO FILTER OUT THE UNWANTED MATERIALS THAT WILL THREATEN THE DEVELOPMENT OF HIS MAJOR ORGANS.
INFECTION–One of the top causes of infant mortality is infection. As you can imagine, premature babies are not always ready to take on the bacteria that humans of all ages live with every day. Since Jesher’s immune system is so young, it can be easily compromised by bacteria. This morning, Jesher’s doctor informed us that Jesher is showing signs of infection. PLEASE PRAY THAT A STANDARD WOULD BE LIFTED AGAINST ALL DISEASES (VIRAL OR BACTERIAL) THAT ARE ATTEMPTING TO GROW INSIDE OF JESHER.
The one thing I remember about Going on a Bear Hunt is that I never went by myself. I never took a solo expedition. I always took the journey in a sizeable group. I believe this hazardous journey will require the same level of group participation. Lhorraine, Jesher, and I need people to sit in a circle with us–people who are willing to use their imagination too. People who still have their childlike faith intact. I don’t think we will make it any other way. I think the obstacles are too large, hairy, and grizzly for us to face alone. We can’t avoid them; we can’t circumvent the experience. We can’t go over it, and we can’t go under it. We have been called to go through it. And we will need the spiritual strength of this group to help all three of us get back home.
“This is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.” Isaiah 59:21