Our bedroom wall is blanketed with color like a forest canopy in mid-autumn. But the leaves on this tree are not multi-colored due to a drop in temperature. Although they do reflect a change in season, these neon pieces of paper reflect an internal–versus external–shift in climate. The sticky-notes that spatter our walls are symbolic of my wife’s fervent prayers. They represent her passion and her belief. They symbolize the virtue that is stored within her.
After each report on Jesher’s progress, Lhorraine will return home and immediately add a request to her prayer tree. Each piece of lined stationary chronicles one of Jesher’s needs. They also carry a transcription of a Bible promise that speaks to the corresponding concern. This prayer tree grows taller by the week. Its branches expand their reach day-by-day. Its roots extend their fingers hour-by-hour, and its trunk expends its strength minute-by-minute.
The prayer tree has flourished because it is daily watered by Lhorraine’s tears. For every leaf, she releases twelve tears. The tears run from her face and enter the ground–each one doing its part to nurture the rhizomes which carry the nutrients to the colorful foliage. Once the tears are received, each leaf attempts to capture the light cascading from our bedroom window, hoping the “The Father of Lights” will notice their message and answer. Like a cloud, my wife pours herself out to nurture her prayer tree. Like a child, I watch with amazement as the tree grows higher and higher.
Lhorraine’s prayer tree is a flourishing monument to a mother’s faith. Like Hannah, the Biblical prophet’s mother, Lhorraine’s authentic prayers created a pathway for our son’s birth. Like the Shunammite woman, the Biblical prophet’s hostess, my wife now petitions God to heal our priceless gift. Lhorraine truly does have the faith of a mustard seed. The proof is in the growth of her prayer tree. So I completely expect for our NICU mountain to soon be moved and thrown into the sea.
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
HEART–Jesher’s PDA [Patent ductus arteriosus] is still open. Thus far, he has not had complications that are forcing the doctors to address it, so they are still hoping the valve closes on its own. If the PDA does not close on its own, Jesher will have to have it surgically closed. We are asking the Lord to close the PDA for Jesher, allowing him to avoid the stress and risk of heart surgery. PLEASE ASK YAHWEH TO CLOSE JESHER’S PDA WITH HIS MIGHTY HAND; PRAY THAT JESHER WOULD BE DELIVERED FROM NEEDING HEART SURGERY.
BLOOD–Jesher’s blood platelets are not decreasing, but they also aren’t increasing. His doctors have done four or five tests seeking to find an answer for why he is struggling to maintain his blood platelet levels. We believe the most likely reason for this is immature bone marrow. With healthy, matured bone matter, Jesher will be able to produce platelets at the expected level. PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO HEAL JESHER’S MARROW, MIRACULOUSLY MATURING SO THAT IT MIGHT PRODUCE GOOD FRUIT IN DUE SEASON.
WEIGHT–Jesher had a pretty significant loss in weight on yesterday. For a little guy of his size, the loss of of a couple dozen grams is eye-brow raising. He needs the weight to support proper bone, muscle, and organ development. Now, the weight loss could have been caused by the suppositories he is receiving to improve his colon function (they are resulting in pretty large bowel movements which is great for his intestine health but could also cause weight-loss–like a colon cleanse for adults). PLEASE ASK GOD TO HELP JESHER PUT ON GOOD WEIGHT AT A BEAUTIFUL RATE…ASK HIM TO GIVE JESHER HIS ‘BABY FAT.’
Daily, I choose to believe that Yahweh has taken notice of Lhorraine’s prayer tree and bottled every one of her tears. However, no occasion so greatly challenges my faith like watching my wife cultivate her prayer tree. I have often asked questions like, “Does God hear her? Does God care about her great sorrow? Does God see her suffering? Will God relieve her torment?” I still ask these questions, and I’m still waiting to see how Yahweh answers them. But in the meantime, I will continue to sit under the shade of Lhorraine’s prayer tree, knowing that its fruit is nourishing our son.
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalms 56:8