Our 4 year old son has some fairly serious health problems, so we are “frequent fliers” at the local children’s hospital. Two weeks ago, our son was there for several days having surgery.
As stressful as that was for us, my visits to that hospital almost always leave me feeling grateful. Why? Because of “the other doors.”
As I walk the corridors of that hospital, I pass doors leading to many different departments. I pass the department where surgeons reconstruct children’s faces. I pass the department where specialists treat children who have been tragically burned. I pass the department where children with cancer spend their childhoods battling a disease that terrifies most adults. Every day, people walk through those doors. I keep walking.
Occasionally, I walk through a ward, past the room of a dying child. I look in at the child, unconscious amid a mass of tubes and machines. I see the family, staring blankly into space, grieving for what is to come. I keep walking.
On the fourth floor, I pass the “catacombs” where parents with children in ICU watch their days and nights stretch into weeks and months, hoping against hope for good news. I keep walking.
It’s late one evening, and I walk to the waiting room. Only one family remains, and their doctor arrives from surgery. He begins to tell them about the patient’s injuries….a shotgun blast, self-inflicted ….massive facial damage…. a dozen more operations to come….a lifetime of disfigurement…a lifetime of asking “why?” I sit, half-listening, considering the doors, this family will face in the years ahead.
I stood up. I walk back to the preschool ward, to the one door I seek. Behind this door, our son is slowly recovering from surgery. And in a strange way, I am grateful for the “situation” that we live with.
Because there are a hundred other doors in this place that are far worse. And we could just as easily be in one of those rooms.
As you pray for strength to open the doors you face, be sure to thank Allah Ta’ala for the doors he has spared you.
Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu-anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said, ” Look at those who are below you and do not look at those above you, for it is more suitable lest you look down on Allaah’s blessings (bestowed upon) you. ” [Saheeh Muslim’ Hadeeth Number 2963]