Last month I was leaving the Love Without Reason office when I heard the laughter and gurgles of a child. There at the entrance to Eastgate Town Center was a toddler pushing a pediatric walker and slowly walking around the entrance. His dad and grandmother were watching him and encouraging each step.
I smiled at his little face and could see his unfocused eyes. He had some cognitive delays. But his smile was contagious. I reached my car, and then I thought to myself, “I should show that dad my Philip’s pictures”.
After going back to the office to pick up Philip Mathews memoir, I found the family sitting at a bench with the baby in between them. I recognized the position of the child lying on the bench. They were going to give him a tube feeding.
Memories just overwhelmed me and the tears just wouldn’t stop. The dad had his back to me and suddenly turned somewhat angrily. “I’m so sorry. I just wanted to leave you something, this book about my son.. My son also was fed with a G tube.”
He kinda smiled and said “just give me a minute here.” After cleaning up, he walked to me and I told him Philip’s story in brief and showed him the pictures in the memoir. He began to tear up. “I’ve often wondered what will happen to my son, if something happens to me. Don’t take me wrong, but maybe your son was the lucky one.” I could understand why he said that, but the pain of burying my beautiful 19 year old cannot be compared to holding him close to me.
I don’t know if you believe in miracles, but Philip started at Siskin Children’s Institute and had to learn to walk, to talk, and to make friends and study. He graduated from McCallie School with a B average GPA.” The man’s eyes popped open. “He graduated from Mccallie? Wow, maybe if Philip could make it, my son could make it too!”
I was really beating myself up when I first stopped to meet this family. Why didn’t I just keep walking. But when you feel that nudge from the spirit of God, don’t hesitate. He is willing to use messed up people to bring hope and comfort to a messed up world, if you can just listen to His voice.
Please remember this young man in your prayers. Oh, yeah, his name is Matthew – truly a gift from God.
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