At his first Christmas, at a mere three months old, we discovered a belly-laughing connection that continues to the present moment.
For the next three and a half years, whether good times or bad - in both sickness and in health - I have sensed a shared blessing whenever we can laugh together. That is why while in Brooklyn during our most recent visit, his abiding laughter brought both a sigh of relief for all of us who love him as will as a hint of normalcy once this ordeal is done.
One of my dearest friends, Martha - my English professor during my first year in college and a source of wisdom in absentia for a decades after - expressed the depth of the love we know in laughter in a prayer she offered for us all earlier in the week:
Holy One of Healing, you have one of your very precious sons in your particular care now. Please hold Louie close and keep his family and friends and nurses and doctors -- all his caregivers -- in your purview. We hold each of them in prayer as each longs for health for this babe in the woods. Remind his mom and dad and his grand grandparents that they are not alone in their worry and wonder over his illness, that they are part of a great circle of prayer. Give them hope. Give them refreshment. Give them succor and release from fretting as they give you their hearts. Thank you, Jesus.
Many other friends, colleagues and church members have likewise been compassionate and prayerful, too. I spent much of this day going through my pictures of my little man. It was yet another way of holding him close in prayer. And now I hear tell that he did some good walking today.
Thank you to all who have been a part of my circle of prayer. Thank you to his profoundly dedicated and wise medical team. And thanks be to God for sharing with me the joy of this sacred child.