We all know the phrase, “No news is good news.” There have been plenty of times during this journey where that quote was applicable. I remember some of those nights when we were already sleep deprived and our night would be interrupted with the dreaded sound of my phone ringing. Many of you know the feeling, one minute you’re sound asleep and your heart rate is nice and slow. The next minute, you’re startled awake, heart is racing, and your mind is fighting to catch up with all that is happening. It is, of course, the worst way to wake up. On the other end, I remember how good it felt to slowly drift back awake, my mind and my body together slowly becoming aware of another day. A quick glance at my phone to confirm there were no missed calls or texts, and then the sigh of relief… no news was indeed good news. God’s mercies new every morning.
Well currently we are in Lakewood, attempting to figure out our new “normal” life, knowing our grandson has a long journey ahead, wanting desperately to be in two places at one time. Living most of our day with the motto, “No news is good news!” And the truth is, these past couple of days have been very quiet… whew! Obviously we’ve been in touch and we’re keeping up on all of the reports. We talked to Alyse and Jason after they visited Randall… we Face-timed with Justus after the surgery… so we’re getting news. But, we aren’t getting our sleep interrupted or “Red Phone” calls.
I suppose I should explain what I mean by the “Red Phone”. It’s a word picture Kelli and I have used in our training for marriage and for parenting. It’s an example that actually dates me, because it’s a throwback illustration taken from the old television series, “Batman”. If you’re my age, or you’ve watched reruns, then you’ll remember Commissioner Gordon had the “Bat phone”. If he picked up the Bat phone, then Batman would pick it up on the other end and save the day. In this day of busy, crazy schedules, I always wanted Kelli and my kids to know, they had the Bat phone or the Red Phone to me. In other words, no matter what I was doing, if they told me this was a red phone call, they knew I’d be there. Those middle of the night calls in Portland, were Red Phone calls. But since we’ve come home, thankfully, there have been no Red Phone calls.
Often, when I talk about this idea of a Red Phone, parents (and even spouses), worry about having it abused. They worry, they’ll get Red Phone call after Red Phone call. But I’ve found it to be just the opposite. I have to remind my kids about the Red Phone. It’s a little like cancer patients on morphine for pain. I’m told they will actually use less pain medication if you let them self-administer. The theory is, because they know they can get more relief as soon as they need it, they are able to hold off and use their full pain threshold. If they have to call for a nurse, then they will need some margin to account for the time it will take to finally get relief. In the same way, when Kelli or my kids know they can have me any time with a phone call, they are able to use their full capacity before making the call. But consider this:
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” ~Psalm 91:14-16
What I’m most thankful for is that we serve a God who is the ultimate when it comes to answering the Red Phone. It doesn’t matter when I call, or what I’m calling about… He always answers. Some of those sleepless nights, I can remember picking up the Red Phone, and God always answered. Sometimes He answered with a hug from Kelli… sometimes He answered with a quiet moment with my daughter… sometimes He answered with friends showing up with food… and other times he answered by just calming my heart and soul with a peace that passes all understanding. And He isn’t worried about me abusing the Red Phone!
So for all of us, may we keep calling upon the Lord. Anyone who has had surgery knows what prayers Justus needs; he’s in pain and they are trying to manage that. Also please pray because we are going down tomorrow to see him and to help with his move to Randall (do you remember how much stuff is in his room?). And I want us all to consider… is there someone on whose behalf we need to pick up the Red Phone with God. I know I’ve seen a few such requests come across the #TeamJustus page. I’m so grateful because I know there were many nights the Red Phone to God was being rung by an army of #TeamJustus prayer warriors. Remember, our job is to pray! God’s job is to be God. God is able and God is good.