Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The sensitive side of Steve Duin

I've been reading the Oregonian columnist since he covered sports for the paper -- when was it, two decades ago? -- and I always enjoy his writing, even when I don't agree with him (which is frequent).

Today, he shows my favorite side of Steve Duin -- the apolitical side -- as he intrudes almost unnoticed into a family's grief and shares the lessons that 6-year-old Jaxon Hagstrand, even in death, can teach a bunch of grownups.
If he'd been dealt a lousy hand, heaven was in the cards. If there was some understandable confusion about the means of transport -- quizzed by his father, Jaxon said, "Well, I think I'll get there by car" -- he was convinced he had the proper escort.

That's why Jaxon once asked the doctor who placed the cool palm of a stethoscope above his heart, "Can you hear Jesus in there?"

And that's why, [Jaxon's pediatric oncologist] says, "Jaxon had a sense of what needed to be done, more so than I did or his parents. He knew when it was time to stop trying to cure the cancer. For a 6-year-old boy to be at such peace, and not have any fear, was amazing to see."

Those who stood watch over the family spent two more hours together at summer's end. "We do not mourn," says Jordan Scheetz, the pastor at Eastgate Bible Chapel, "as those who have no hope."

No, they grieve as those who believe. They believe Jaxon was on to something, the promise and the possibility the apostle Paul was reaching for when he wrote, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
What they heard through the stethoscope was hope, an amazing emotion in the face of such excruciating pain. They spoke of their amazement that Jaxon had this hope in the midst of his earthly pain, and they shared the family's hope because they knew the pain had been replaced by peace.

Excuse me while I get a tissue.


  • At 9/27/2006 1:30 AM, Anonymous terry said…

    Steve Duin led his column with "It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday," which is just ASKING for the obvious retort: "Man, what are YOU doing here?"

    Abd who among us hasn't been asking THAT about Duin?


Post a Comment

<< Home