The nurse poked her head into the room where my mother and I were sitting next to my grandson who has been in NICU since he was born nine weeks early this past Tuesday. She had been trying to reach my son but had been unable to do so. There was a room that had opened up for them at the Ronald McDonald House which is just down the hall from where their little boy lay. They could have it tonight (Saturday) and Sunday evening if they let they checked in by 7:00 p.m.
My daughter-in-law had checked out of the hospital earlier this afternoon and they had gone home to drop off some things before coming back to the hospital. I managed to get ahold of my son to let him know the room was available if they wanted it. They did.
It is only about a 30 minute drive from their home to the hospital but when your child is in the hospital, it might as well be a million miles away. You want to be with your child or at the very least, be just down the hall.
A short time later, my son, daughter-in-law, my mother and myself met up at the Ronald McDonald House where we were going to have dinner that evening. My daughter-in-law spoke of being glad that she would be able to stay there for the next couple of days. She wanted to go home and yet the thought of leaving her little son at the hospital with her at home was heartbreaking. Of course she wanted to be with her son and I was glad that she would be able to do so, at least for the next couple of days.
You can imagine my surprise when a short time later, I was informed that after talking it over, my son and daughter-in-law had decided to only take the room if it was not needed by someone else. I found myself saying, "But it is 6:00 p.m. Surely those who are going to check in today have already checked in. That's probably why you weren't offered the room until late this afternoon." I did not say what else was going through my head. God had surely blessed them with this room and so they should take it. At least, I thought so.
My son walked over to the desk and in a little while he returned. It seemed that there was a woman who had just arrived from northern MN (she had driven about six hours). Her little girl was having heart surgery on Monday and she had stopped by RMH hoping that they would have room for her. They didn't... until out of the blue my son, who knew nothing of the conversation, walked up and said he wanted to know if anyone from far away needed a room.
After my son sat down, the woman approached us with tears in her eyes. She could not believe someone, especially someone with a child in NICU, would give up their room for a stranger. She was overwhelmed with gratitude and we talked for some time.
After she left, a woman sitting over and across from me spoke up. You see, it seems like she had a room, but since her husband had just decided to go back home that evening, she had thought about moving into a larger room with another relative who was there. When she overheard what my son and daughter-in-law did, her mind was made up. She would move into the larger room, freeing up the smaller room for my son and his wife.
When I left, they were at the front desk trying to work out the details. Of course, who knows. My son and daughter-in-law might give away that room too.
In all honesty, I do not know if I would have done the same if my baby was in NICU. Perhaps I would have if I had heard the woman making her inquiry. I like to think I would have but would I have gone up there out of the blue asking if they were sure somone else did not need the room? Probably not and therefore I am humbled by what my son and daughter-in-law did.
A few nights ago, the parents and grandparent of my son and daugher-in-law sat at a table in the Ronald McDonald House and ministered to and prayed with a frightened, sad and lonely woman. Tonight their children sat at that same table and said, "If there is no room at the Inn and someone needs one, give them mine." even as the tiny child who brought them to this place is battling for his life. We must never forget that God calls us to be His servants as well as givers in this world.