Every year when my wife asks me what I want for my birthday, I reply, “A day without crisis.” It’s our little inside joke that others may not find as funny as we do. Our twin sons with Down Syndrome are now 27 and we’ve been through multiple illnesses such as pneumonia and leukemia to name a few. There were several years running when we were in hospitals or emergency rooms every Christmas and month long hospital stays became the norm. It became a tradition that became a family joke and we figured its better to laugh than to cry.
The boys have been somewhat healthy over the last ten years, but last night, Christmas Eve, we found ourselves sitting in an emergency room with Matt whose cough was sounding more serious by the minute. We’re still hoping he will improve enough to make the family journey to Panama City to be with relatives.
When you pastor churches as we have for many years, you find that a crisis will pop up in the most inconvenient times. Calls from the hospital in the middle of the night are just part of the ministry gig. Domestic disturbances asking the pastor to referee can come unexpectedly without warning. Problems with the church facility, leaks, break-ins, squatters, and the buck stops here.
One birthday my wife let me know everyone would be out of the house to give me my “day without crisis.” Kristin was a teen and went shopping with her mom. I proceeded to make myself my favorite taco meal, picked out some interesting cable TV programs to watch, and slid my chair up to my TV tray. As I opened my mouth to devour one of my gourmet tacos, the phone rang. Pam was frantic on the phone, “We were in the parking lot of shopping center and Kristin ran the car over the curb and we can’t get the car off…. we’re stuck! Help us!….” I took one last glance at my tacos as I grabbed my car keys to tackle yet another crisis in the Burke family.
I don’t know if my dream will ever come true in this lifetime. But one day in heaven I will have one long eternal day without crisis …. at last, peace forevermore!