Mary is a very quiet child. Ever since she was born she has kept things bottled up inside. She doesn’t talk much and never complains. Mary doesn’t cry often either. Her parents have to guess whether she is hungry, cold, thirsty, tired, or afraid. When she is asked a question, she answers but doesn’t volunteer information. It is sad to say, but Mary’s parents don’t feel as connected and close to her as they do to her siblings.
Mary feels very deeply, but she hasn’t learned to talk about her feelings and thoughts. It is almost as though she doesn’t trust her parents enough to share with them.
When Mary gets hungry she doesn’t tell her parents. She just waits until it is time to eat. When she is tired she puts herself into bed. At night if she has a bad dream or is afraid, she hides her head under the covers instead of calling out or rushing to her parent’s room.
A while back on a nice sunny day, Mary played on the swing in her back yard. Higher and higher she went and thought it would be fun to jump out of the swing. She hadn’t jumped out before, but watched her older brother do it. When she jumped, she came out of the swing crooked and landed hard on her right leg. She felt a terrible pain in her ankle. Not wanting to bother her parents, she didn’t tell them.
Mary limped into the house and to her room. She sat on the floor and gently took off her shoe and pulled off her sock. Her right ankle was already swollen. When she touched her ankle it brought tears to her eyes. Moving it was worse. She thought about telling her mom, but shook her head and reached for her slippers. The slipper felt better than her shoe. Mary figured no one would notice her swollen ankle with her slipper on. The slippers were normally large on her, but now it fit her right foot snug. The other one was still very loose and she thought about that, but still decided not to tell her parents.
Being only nine years old, Mary didn’t know that she should put ice on it and prop it up on pillows. She didn’t realize it could be sprained or even broken. While she sat there, her mom called, “Supper is ready.”
With a moan, Mary got up and tried not to limp into the kitchen. She was relieved she was the first to arrive and her mom had her back to her. Mary sat down. Her brother and sister came in and sat down while talking about the game they had been playing.
Mary’s dad came in and ruffled her hair before sitting down. “How are my beautiful children today?”
“Fine,” they all said.
Mary’s mom brought over a large casserole and placed it on the table, then sat. After they asked the blessing, Mary’s mom served them the casserole and salad. Mary ate, sitting quietly like normal. She didn’t feel like eating, but she knew if she didn’t eat she would have to answer why. Her ankle pounded, but she didn’t show it. The rest of the family chatted.
Her father asked, “Mary, what did you do today?”
“I played outside then went to my room,” she responded.
“Did anything exciting happen?”
Mary shrugged her shoulders hoping he would let it drop. The conversation went all around the table. Everyone participated except for Mary. No one noticed because it was typical of her.
After supper, the children were expected to take their dishes to the kitchen sink. Trying not to wince and show she was in pain, Mary walked to the kitchen counter. She set her plate and glass down and turned to walk back to her room. That is when her brother accidently ran into her. She couldn’t help but cry out in pain.
He said, “Sorry Mary.”
“That’s alright,” she whispered.
Her mom saw the whole thing and noticed her limp. “Mary, please come here.”
Mary tried to hold back the tears and not limp. Her mom patted the sofa next to her and said, “Honey, sit down.” Mary was relieved to sit. Her mom got up and squatted in front of her. “Hand me your right foot.”
Slowly Mary lifted her leg and put her right foot into her mom’s hands. “Mary, how did you hurt your ankle? It’s swollen.” Silent tears ran down Mary’s cheeks. “Honey, please tell me so I can help you.”
Her father walked over and said, “Mary, we love you and want to help you. We need to know what happened. You can trust us. We have your best interest in mind.”
Mary looked from one parent to the other. Finally she said, “I jumped off the swing and landed wrong.”
“Mary, we need to take you to the doctor to see if it is sprained or broken,” said her father. Mary stared straight ahead. “The doctor will help you. Are you afraid? Does it hurt? Please talk to us about how you are feeling.”
They waited for Mary to talk to them. She didn’t. Her father picked her up and carried her to the car. He settled her in the back, sitting her sideways with her leg up across the seat. Her mother phoned the neighbor who came over to watch her brother and sister so her parents could take her to the clinic.
On the way, her parents talked about what Mary could expect. They also reminded her she could tell them anything. They told her they loved her very much and wanted to share in her thoughts, pain, and fears. Mary sat there saying nothing.
They arrived and her father carried her into the clinic and placed her into a wheel chair. Then he asked, “Mary, do you want to ride in the wheel chair or do you want me to carry you?”
She looked up into his caring eyes and then said, “I would like you to carry me.” Her father smiled a huge smile and picked her up. Her mother was also smiling. After a while, the nurse said they could go back to the examination room. Her father didn’t put her down and the doctor examined her ankle while she sat in her father’s arms.
The doctor said, “Mary, you are a very brave girl, but you need to show me where your ankle hurts.” Mary looked at her father who nodded. Mary pointed to a spot under her ankle bone. “We need to have x-rays taken to see if it is broken.”
Her father carried her to the x-ray room. Normally, only the patient is allowed to be in there when an x-ray is taken. Her father said, “I am staying with her.” They both put on a heavy lead garment to protect their bodies from the radiation of the x-ray machine.
After the x-rays were taken, he carried her back to the exam room. The doctor came in and said, “I’m afraid it’s broken. We will need to put a cast on it.”
Mary turned wide eyes to her father who said, “That means they will put some wet strips of cloth around your foot and ankle. Those cloths are plaster and will dry, becoming hard like a brick. That way, your ankle will be able to heal without it getting jarred or hurt. The bad news is, you cannot touch your ankle and it may itch after a few days and you cannot get it wet. The good news is, you will not have to take a bath tonight and you get to use cool crutches. Also if you want, people can sign it.”
Mary smiled at her father. The nurse helped the doctor put the plaster strips on and around her foot and ankle and half way up her calf. Mary was fascinated that the wet cloths would become hard. She watched them intently. Her father was right. They were beginning to get hard. Mary was given a pair of crutches, but her father carried her to the car.
On the way home, Mary decided she could trust her parents and tell them what she was thinking. She said, “Mom and Dad, it was just like you said it would be. My ankle doesn’t hurt as badly now. I was really scared, but you didn’t leave my side. Dad, you carried me the whole time even when I got the x-ray. I should have told you when I hurt it instead of trying to take care of it myself. Thank you for taking care of me and loving me.”
“Mary, we do love you and want to share in what's happening, not just your outside but what goes on in your inside. We want to know how you feel when you are cold, hot, hungry, thirsty, sad, afraid, tired, happy, worried, nervous, and when you have pain. We will feel closer to you and you will feel closer to us if you express your feelings with us.”
Mary said she would try to share with them. Mary healed up nicely. After the cast came off, her ankle didn’t give her any more problems. Also, she opened up to her parents and learned how much nicer life was when she shared her feelings with them. They became close, and their relationship got very strong.
Mary and her parents are an example to us. Our heavenly Father, the Lord, desires us to share everything with Him. We need to trust Him. Proverbs 3:5 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart. He wants us to talk to Him about how we feel. When we are afraid, sick, tired, worried, hungry, thirsty, cold, hot, confused, happy, unsure, disappointed, hurt, or anything, we can tell Him. Even though He already knows our thoughts and how we feel, we need to tell Him things for our benefit. He understands and will give us comfort. Talking to Him is called prayer. When we talk to Him, our relationship grows closer and stronger. He talks to us through His word the Bible. If we have trusted Him as our Savior, The Holy Spirit lives in us and He talks to us also.
The Bible reminds us of His love toward us and that He gave us the Holy Spirit to live in us. Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy spirit who was given to us.
The Bible tells us to pray all the time and we can ask the Lord anything. 1Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing. Colossians 4:2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving… Matthew 21:22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
The Lord Jesus Christ gave us an example of praying. Matthew 6:9-13 Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Pick one of those verses to memorize. I challenge you to memorize the Matthew 6:9-13 passage. Remember, when you pray use your own words. That passage is just an example.
Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated.