Killing Monsters

My little niece, the same one born 8 weeks premature three years ago, is in the hospital with a brain tumor.

Successful biopsy. Probably benign. She seems to be doing well.

But how does this happen?! Why? What kind of world do we live in?!

She doesn't ask questions like this. MRI, surgery, biopsy, benign, malignant, tumor - these words mean nothing to her. Daddy, Mommy, Auntie, Nanna, Papa, Uncle - these words make sense. And in these words, she has complete trust. Because Daddy's there. Mommy's there. Auntie, Nanna and Papa are there.

"The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

There's danger, but she's not scared. She doesn't know what will happen - and she's not concerned. There are so many unanswered questions, but she's only concerned about one of them. "I just want to go home now."

I could fill a book with my own unanswered questions. And not just about my niece. What if this blogging thing never amounts to anything? What if I'm not making a difference? What if I can't save enough for retirement? What do all these people think of me? And what if they're right? What if I'm wrong? What if that pain in my back doesn't go away? What if I get heart disease like my grandfather? Or brain disease like my dad? What if my whole life is worthless? What if I just think I believe but really I'm lying to myself? What if it's...cancer?

My niece is blissfully confident. Mommy and Daddy are there. They'll take care of me. They'll keep me safe. And soon, very soon, they'll take me home. Because that's what Mommy and Daddy do. There are no what-ifs. It just is.

But then you grow up, right? You figure out the real world. How awful it is. You find out about all the stuff Mommy and Daddy can't control. They can't fix everything. They can't stop everything. And then come the questions. Endless, endless questions. Fears multiply. The monsters move from inside the closet out into broad daylight. And these monsters, no one can stop. You're left staring at your daughter's hand, paralyzed with helplessness. Absolute trust staring up at you and all you can manage is: "You'll be ok…"

Mommy and Daddy can't stop the monsters. Nanna and Papa can't kill them. And neither can Auntie or Uncle. It takes a Prince to kill monsters. To silence the roar of the dragon. To stamp out fear. To declare once and for all, "It is finished!" It takes a Father to hold your hand and comfort us. To tell us not to be afraid. That we're going to be alright. "I will be with you." And it takes a Spirit greater than us to believe it. To believe he is our father. That I am his little child. To believe he's holding me safe where monsters can't touch me. And to know, on that one day when we beg with absolute trust, "I just want to go home now…"

...He answers, "Let the little children come to me."

More from this series


  1. Kayle (The Cooking Actress)November 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    oh man. This is just....whoa. I'm praying for your niece, I know she'll be ok <3

  2. Praying for your niece and knowing He will comfort you and your family. Hugs to you

  3. Keeping your niece and your family in my prayers.

  4. Mark, I'm so sorry to read about your sweet niece. Poor thing. :( I'll keep her in my thoughts.

  5. Hi JW - really sorry to hear about your niece. Keeping my fingers crossed for her.

  6. So sorry to hear about your niece! Hope everything turns out OK.

  7. Can this be done with a traditional cheesecake recipe? Although no bake cheesecake is good, I like the baked version better..


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