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Listen to this from a guy named Per Nilsen, from Burnsville, Minnesota:


Last week my son, Bjorn, got sick. I took his temperature, and it was 102.5 degrees. The Children’s Advil came out. He slugged down the appropriate dose for his size. Forty-five minutes later the fever was down to 100.


Just before bed I checked his temperature again. It was back up. More Advil. I checked again forty-five minutes later; now it was 103. Concerned, I asked Bjorn to drink more water. He obliged, but he was clearly languishing.


My wife, Mary, slept with our youngest son, Kristian, as I monitored Bjorn through the night. At 12:30 a.m., the thermometer went under the tongue of my lethargic son. His skin was hot; his affect dulled. 104.


I called the urgent care facility at the local medical center. They said, “Bring him in.”


Mary took Bjorn in while I stayed home with Kristian. While she started the van, I got Bjorn ready. I jostled him. He awoke. I told him we were going to the doctor. He looked at me with weary, wondering eyes and asked, “Am I going to die, Daddy?”


I had three reactions. Common sense: “No, you are not going to die. We need to get this fever down.” Emotional: “I’m scared.” Visions of children with bizarre diseases flooded my heart. Spiritual: “Dear Jesus, cover him. Heal him. Love him.”


I conveyed the commonsense reaction to Bjorn, not wanting to scare him and being fairly certain his fever was not life threatening. But my mind flashed to the many parents in this world who have had to look at their children, knowing that the ultimate answer to that question was yes. I can barely write as I contemplate that circumstance.


Bjorn recovered. Still, I wonder if there was once a conversation between the Father and the Son, when the Son asked the question, “Am I going to die, Daddy?” and in his heart the Father knew the answer was yes. —(1001 Illustrations that Connect; Larson, Ten Eslhof, eds. Zondervan)

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