Samuel and Mattie

My heart has been burdened for a little boy I've never met. His name is Samuel, and he's a miracle. His parents were teachers at my high school, and have two adorable, healthy little boys. And then, there's Samuel. Not only is he a miracle, but he's a medical mystery. The doctors are having trouble diagnosing and treating his conditions. I keep up with Samuel's progress through Bryan and Kathryn's blog, and each day, I'm hoping to read good news. Some days are good, and some days aren't. What amazes me most is the strength that Brian and Kathryn have shown through the whole ordeal. It is a strength that surpasses understanding. They have a unique compassion and yearning not only for the healing of their own son, but for the other children in ICU.

As I read about Samuel, I am reminded about another little miracle. His name was Mattie Stepanek. Mattie is another little boy I never met, but he is one of my heroes. He was born with an aggressive type of muscular dystrophy, as were his siblings. He coped with watching his brothers and sisters succumb to the disease by writing poems, or Heartsongs, as he calls them. Mattie's book, Journey Through Heartsongs, has become a source of comfort and encouragement. Despite having lost two siblings to the same disease that he was dying from, Mattie choose to look at his glass half-full, "because if you live life feeling like your glass is half empty, well, it might as well be empty all the way."

Mattie was very real about the pain he experienced. He never denied it, but he also didn't let it dictate how he would live. His life was full of hospitals and tests and doctors and disease. But it didn't beat him. As I read Mattie's writings, it reminds me of the strength Bryan and Kathryn show every day. My heart aches for them as they are navigating life with a sick child. But sweet Samuel is fighting. The doctors are fighting. Bryan and Kathryn are fighting. And we are fighting with them every day. I haven't seen Bryan and Kathryn in years, but little Samuel is in my heartsongs and prayers every day.

Mattie was just eight years old when he wrote the opening poem of his book. When I read it, I think of Samuel, and the miracle of his journey so far. I encourage you to join Samuel on his journey by praying for his healing.

Prayer for a Journey

Thank you, God,
Not just for life,
But for our journey through life.
Life is a miracle,
And a journey through life
Is full of so many more miracles
If we travel with our Heartsongs.
Thank you, God,
For blessing me with the
Gift of Heartsongs,
So that I can enjoy my miracles.

For Bryan, Kathryn, and Samuel...may you find strength and comfort for each day, knowing that you have a multitude praying for your little miracle.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, love Mattie! He was a special young man. I keep his book in my collection at work!