No Shortcuts

Years have gone by since Steve and I have cared for a sick child overnight, but Friday night all our experiences and skills—or lack thereof—came back to us.

We were keeping our Lafayette, Indiana, grandchildren while their parents were out of town overnight. We were looking forward to fun and games. And we did have some.

Most precious to us were the ways in which we saw that they are the kind of people we want our grandchildren to be. Kinley, age 11½,  was sweet and helpful in caring for her little brother, bringing him Sprite with a flashing Lightning McQueen and a flexible straw, trying to get him to eat something, taking his temp with the ear thermometer. She said she’d called a ceasefire on her usual pestering and nagging since he was sick.

Knox, age 6½, was sweet and compliant, willing to cuddle or have covers piled on. Before sending him to bed with a 104° temp, Steve gave him a bath in tepid water. He cried about the “cold water,” and big sis warmed it up a bit. Steve decided to forego shampooing his hair since the water wasn’t warm.

Over the weeping and wailing, Steve said, “OK, you can get out now and I’ll dry you off.”

Immediately, in a totally different and stern voice, Knox said, “Aren’t you going to wash my hair?” So of course he did, for our little rules-follower.

Kinley had a lesson prepared for our evening devotional, their family routine, as is ours. She read a piece about having a generous spirit, and we had already seen that at work with both of them.

Then Steve said, “Shall we have one person pray, or do you want to pray around?”

Immediately Knox, in his fevered daze, said, “Let’s pray around. I’ll go first.”

I can’t recall his exact words, but he prayed for his fever to go away and his parents to have a safe trip home. He was grateful that we were there. It was precious.

Kinley’s words were equally sweet. I love it that our grandchildren, including the 2.75-year-old in Kentucky, love to pray.

They did have a good night’s sleep, and Knox was better the next day. We played games and popped corn and had a great time together. Love those kids and the great job their parents are doing with them. They take no shortcuts in training their children to follow Jesus.

How recently have you cared for a sick child?



  1. Drue Wright

    And Lanita it gets even better when there are great-grandchildren being taught the ways of the Lord and following in footsteps of their parents and granparents!

  2. Josh

    I’ve cared for a sick child pretty recently! And I’m so thankful that you cared for Knox and made him so comfortable this weekend. One observation: my sick child is a lot more high maintenance when sick than he is when well. Typical afternoons after school he is happy to play or read on his own; but as a sick child, he wants to play with, to read with, to talk with.

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