The Power in the Search
(Where Do We Find The Cure?)
A life Lessons Story
By Chana Klein
We go through so many life situations. Sometimes we lose hope, which makes things feel so much worse.
Then there are those times when all hope feels nonexistent and an answer, a solution, somehow appears from an unexpected place?
What is that? How do we access it?
To a person in search of work, or a partner, or an answer to a health issue . . .
From where does the answer come?
Could it be that the answer right in front of us . . . yet, we are not able see it?
How often is it that we actually do find an answer?
How many times does the problem seem to just go away, once we make the effort to search for it?
Could it be the effort in that search that brings us to the solution?
In our Torah
In our Torah, Hagar, the mother of Yishmael was expelled from Avraham’s house.
She was left on her own with her baby.
The water that Avraham had given her for the journey was used up.
I can’t imagine the pain she experienced that made her, as his mother, say:
“Let me not see the death of the child.” (Genesis 21:16)
Then she left him to sit in another place, a place where she would not be with her son in his death.
But was there really no water?
“Then, God opened her (Hagar’s) eyes and she perceived a well of water.” (Genesis 21:19)
But the text tells us that the water that Hagar saw had not been created by God just at that moment just for her.
He merely opened her eyes to see what had already been there.
Really, it was there the whole time.
Perhaps so many of our answers are there the whole time. We just don’t see them right away.
“The brothers of Yosef,” as they are called in Genesis 42:3, search for Yosef in every part of the city.
The brothers regretted having sold Yosef into slavery and were determined to find him, redeem him, and bring him back to Yakov.
Their father, Yaakov had instructed them to go directly to the center market.
But in their search for Yosef, they wandered through the city exploring side streets and alleys, markets, stores, inns, and theaters.
Unbeknownst to the brothers, Yosef was now the Viceroy of Egypt.
Yosef’s security guards saw the brothers’ suspicious behavior and reported it directly to Yosef.
They were brought before him (for questioning.) (Rashi 43:3 – 13)
There, they were standing before the object of their search.
Yet, they did not know they had found him.
They did not know that was Yosef.
How many times have we found what we are in search of, and still had no idea that it was before us?
Recreated from a story I heard:
The Search for Rory
It was a time of war between the people who lived on the flatlands of the desert and the people who lived high up on Mount Ramon, the highest mountain in Southern Israel.
It was night time when the people of the mountain raided the people of the desert. They pillaged through homes.
They climbed into the bedroom window of Rory, waking him up.
They grabbed him and carried him away.
Rory was on the autistic spectrum.
He was his mom’s only child.
By two and a half years old, Rory had lost his speech ability.
Food for Rory, had to be a certain texture, color, and place on the plate, in order for him to eat it.
He avoided physical touch.
But he was attached to his cushy, stuffed alligator toy.
Rory’s screams pierced his mom’s ears with the quick shuffling sound of intruders.
She flew into his room slamming the door open.
His toy alligator lay in his bed, alone.
She was frantic. “He can’t express himself. He won’t know where he is. What will they do to him? How will he eat?”
She dialed the phone number for Special Forces Unit.
The police showed up quickly.
They searched the area.
There were no mountain people in sight. They got away and were likely headed up the mountain.
“Oh dear God, please, please, please, make them find my baby.” The mom prayed.
The police began to make way up the pathway that the mountain people must have taken the child.
But the police were not mountain people and were not experienced in searching the trails in the mountain or in climbing it.
Yet, they assisted each other over rocks, pushing their way through undergrowth in the ground.
It was not working.
They looked for another path and began up that one.
They kept trying.
After hours of effort, it was daybreak.
After more hours, the sun set, and rose again.
And then it was night again.
The rugged mountain proved to be a huge undertaking.
They feared they were going to lose their men.
They were only 200 feet up the mountain that was 3,402 feet high.
The senior officer could not foresee that they would ever be able to reach where the mountaineers had brought the child.
They called on the army for assistance.
The soldiers arrived and they, too, attempted to climb the mountain to where the toddler was likely being held.
The army people knew a little bit more than the police had about getting up the mountain.
With picks and huge iron rods they attempted to make the climb.
They held each other up with ropes.
Yet, it was appearing to be impossible to travel very far on the treacherous terrain.
Night came and daybreak, and then another day and another.
The men were exhausted.
They had succeeded only in climbing 400 feet.
At this rate, they will not be able to get to the child.
This was proving to be an impossible mission.
Dejected and powerless, they felt terrible.
They began packing their gear to head back down.
Several of the men looked up in the distance at the challenging topography.
There, they saw the mom descending.
“Look! How did she do that???”
The mom was coming down the huge mountain.
The mom was coming down the treacherous mountain that they were not able to fathom how to climb.
Three of the men climbed up to where she was trekking, in order to assist her.
She stood in front of them on the landing.
“How did you get up there? We, the protective forces are the most skilled in the country. And we were not able to go higher than 400 feet. How did you get to the top? How did you get the child?”
She looked at the group and explained with the simplest and clearest explanation.
“It’s not your child!”
This story takes place in Southern Israel.
But it could be anywhere… anywhere that a parent or anyone else searches for answers.
The power of a parent’s search, the power of that love and determination to find what is missing.
The power of a parent to do for a child what no one else is capable of.
I have worked with many, many parents in their search for healing, in search of answers to their child’s issue.
I find it amazing how a child whose mother, father, or one who cares so deeply, who searches in all places for his healing, somehow gets healed.
I often wonder if it is the search itself that offers the solution.
My son was very ill, in and out of consciousness.
It began at birth, with his difficulty breathing, and within months, a seizure disorder.
One illness led to another and another.
We were told he would not be with us much longer.
I screamed, silently, each day, and each night, from the agony of each additional diagnosis, from the torment of the illness, and the fear of losing him.
At the same time, I had to look ahead.
I foresaw that if, someday, I find that there were really a cure and I had not accessed it, I would feel unbearable regret and guilt.
According to the doctors, there was no hope.
His blood levels were slipping and his consciousness did not exist.
It was only a matter of time.
He was holding on, and I was holding on to him.
I decided to not leave an avenue unsearched, even though I had no hope that I would find an answer.
In those days before the Internet, I managed to extend my search as far as Europe.
I felt I needed to be at peace with the surety that once the inevitable occurred, that I had tried everything and searched everywhere possible.
Did I find an answer?
Did I find a solution to the orchestra of sounds and gasps he made when breathing?
to the non-stop seizures,
to the almost non-existent platelet count,
to countless abnormal blood levels,
subglottal laryngeal stenosis,
loss of speech,
hallucinations causing an inability to eat because of the moving worms he saw in his food,
test after test,
long periods of unconsciousness,
surgeries, hospitalizations, medications?
Did I find answers to these medical problems?
No! Not a one.
Did he recover? Did he improve?
Did he get any better with all that I did as a mother searching for a cure for my darling baby, for the child that I loved so very much?
At ten years old, he began to show some life.
One day, my ex husband remarked to me that our son has not had a seizure in three months.
His other levels were so dangerously out-of-whack and he still seemed so sick, that I had not realized that something did get better.
And then slowly, the ferritin level went up.
The platelets recovered.
His pain lessened.
He began breathing more freely.
Eventually, he was no longer slipping in and out of consciousness.
After age ten and a half, he never again had another seizure.
Dr. Stanley Resor, the head of the Seizure Clinic of Colombia Presbyterian Hospital told us that no medication is able to offer 100% seizure control. (80% control is the best that a medication can offer.)
It, therefore, he claimed has to be that his seizures are less because he is better.
Now, when I waited outside his Hebrew School classroom for the next episode of his passing out, there was nothing to wait for. He came out of class on time, and I no longer had to carry him to the car.
And slowly, beyond my hopes, and beyond what I ever thought could be, he got better, really better, until he eventually was 100% healthy to this day. (Thank you, God.)
All along, I thought it was medical answers that I was trying to find.
But there were no real medical remedies to point to.
As his mother, I had searched for a way to make my child heal from all of the maladies that affected his darling, hurting brain and body.
We never found a medical cure.
We never found a tangible remedy.
But we did find healing, total and complete healing.
I did not understand, at the time, that answers might have been there all along. But to reveal those answers, I had to look for them.
I had to search.
From the place where we keep on trying, from the place where we don’t give up, that is where the answers show up, and that is from where the problems and maladies seem to disappear.
The Almighty sees our effort and then He reveals the answers that were there all along.
Hagar, in the only way she knew, searched for water for her child.
The brothers of Yosef did the best they could to amend their mistake and find their brother, whom they had left in the pit.
Rory’s mom, who was determined to find her child and get him home,
And my own search for a cure for my child. . .
All of those searches did not result in any new findings.
In each case, the answers were revealed just with the effort to find them.
“I shall raise my eyes to the mountains, from where will my help come? My help is from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121
The answers are already here.
The Master of the Universe opens our eyes according to our effort.
The Almighty reveals the light to those who search the darkness.
That is the Light FROM the Darkness.
(c) Chana Klein 2015