Feb 26, 2013

C. Everett Koop

Posted by Daddy on at 8:55 am

C. Everett Koop, a man who helped me turn from atheism to Christianity, died yesterday.

About child rearing he said:

“If you want to say how can we step into childhood and make it better for them, I would start at the activity level. I’d like to say, ‘Let your kids go out and play.’ Then I’d say, ‘You’re not going to do that are you?’ Make your kids go out and play. Kids ought to grow up the way you and I grew up and we grew up fifty years apart or maybe more. But we did the same things. Now who’s out playing in the afternoon? Nobody. Risks I think are the thing that make life important and everything that you and I do is risk vs. benefit. Is there a risk to sending your kid out? Absolutely. Is there a benefit? It exceeds the risk.”

Later, his son David died while playing. He fell from a mountain while climbing, along with a big chunk of rock. He was only 20 years old. Dr. Koop, a children’s surgeon, said of the accident:

“I might be better able to help parents of dying children, but for quite a while I felt less able, too emotionally involved. And from that time on, I could rarely discuss the death of a child without tears welling up into my eyes.”

I know exactly what he means.

Years later, Dr. Koop and his wife wrote a book (Sometimes Mountains Move) about David’s accident. In it they say, “It was ten weeks after David died when his Bible came into our hands. His book mark was in Jude. We opened his Bible and read the last thing that he had read: ‘And now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling…’ ” God was (and is) more than able to keep us from falling, but sometimes he chooses not to do so. We tumble from mountains, we toddle into swimming pools.

Dr. Koop’s words comfort me, and I am learning alongside him about how God’s grace is sufficient for our troubles, even when we cannot know why He allows some things to happen. Especially when…

It pleases me to think about my son, Weeble, being able to meet one more great Christian, and to talk about things I can only imagine. Dr. Koop, in my wandering mind, points to Jesus and excitedly exclaims, “That’s who held my hand as I operated on thousands of children.” Weeble answers, “That’s who pulled me out of that swimming pool and healed me of maladies I didn’t even know I suffered.” Then both, in perfect peace, worship their Creator.

Category: Observations Link: C. Everett Koop