Adoption & Fostering · Church & God

The Fifteen Foot Fall That Should’ve Permanently Injured My Son

This guy.

Less than 24 hours ago, he free-fell from 15’ up and landed on his back on concrete. There were over 100 people present and many who saw it happen later said they felt traumatized. Somehow, I missed it, but as soon as I heard, my head started imagining the worst scenarios. Him on the ground seizing with a cracked skull and serious neurological damage… a broken back and permanent paralyzation… two broken legs, years of physical therapy and rehab… I’m a writer- I could keep going…

But when I got there, I saw a boy with no blood, no broken bones. He was sitting in a chair, some tears on his cheeks. An ER nurse just happened to be there and she was already examining him. His ankle hurt a little, but he was otherwise ok.

This morning, numerous people checked on him. “How’s he doing? Is he alright? How’s he feeling?”

Our response was anti-climactic. “He’s fine.”

They were dumbfounded. “But he fell from 15 feet and landed on his back on the concrete.”

“Yeah, we know. But he feels fine.”

And he still does. Like, totally, completely, has been doing flips on the trampoline fine.

I could say the reason he’s fine is because he has good luck. But I know better than that.

My son isn’t just clumsy or accident prone- he has proprioceptive issues which, like lots of children who’ve been in foster care, stem from not being held, rocked, moved enough as a baby (it has to do with the development of a baby’s inner ear and how it impacts their balance and spacial awareness).

But God knew ahead of time that that would be part of my son’s story, so God made provisions. He made my son’s body sturdy, able to bounce and bounce back, able to take a jolt and keep on going. And God has been with my son during every fall, bounce, jolt along the way (and there have been many). So far, no broken bones and amazingly very few scars.

Yes, my son will fall again. He’ll bump his head or knock his shoulder on something. It’s just who he is. But it’s also Who God is. He cares about my son, this child whose body didn’t develop in all the ways he could’ve (out of no fault of his own). God set a fail-safe into place. Before my son’s biological parents even knew he existed, God looked at my son and said, “Let’s make this one extra sturdy- he’s gonna need it.” God did that’s because He’s good in complex and creative ways.

Last night, my son fell from a height that could’ve permanently injured him. Tonight, he helped me make dinner and he caught a “huge” bass while fishing at the neighbor’s house.

Some people say God doesn’t care, that He sets things into motion and, then, abandons us. But I say, “God cares more than we’ll ever know. He makes provisions for our lives before we’re even a speck of dust. He goes before us, cushioning our falls, creating fail-safes that protect us and get us back to our feet. Whether we marvel in the miracle- or focus on the scary fall- is up to us. God is complexly and creatively good, far beyond our comprehension. But sometimes we catch a glimpse of it and it’s breathtaking.”

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