Sunday, January 30, 2011

In the name of that child

Yesterday we went shopping all day long for supplies for Casa LAMB.  One trip was to the mercado - a street market in downtown Teguci.  Our Honduran friends,coworkers, and escorts had told us to leave everything behind except for a small amount of lempiras stuffed in our pockets.  Hence, I find myself with a picture burned into my memory that I cannot share except through words.  It is a picture, however, everyone should see.  We were on our way home and on an on ramp to the highway.  Traffic was very slow and we were inching along but moving steadily.  On the island by the ramp we saw an absolutely filthy middle-aged man sitting next to an old shower curtain strung between two small rocks.  A few feet away from him was his little daughter, maybe 4 or 5 years old.  She had decorated herself with sheets of paper tucked in the band of her skirt, in her shoes, in the neck of her top and on her hair.  She was skipping and dancing, playing by herself oblivious to the traffic around her.

Leamarie and I were frantically clawing at our pockets to find the few lemps we had with us to give to the father.  We were heartbroken that we couldn't do a thing.  The traffic started moving and we had to go.  She has been weighing on our hearts ever since.  I felt a particularly sharp pain when, during church at SBV, the children offered prayers for the poor and those who have nothing to eat.  Also, during a point in the Suzy-led service when children were invited up to share a moment when they felt God's presence.  Daniel (~10 yrs old) shared about a moment early this morning during his own private devotional time.  Caty (~7 yrs old) ran up to proclaim that God is so good and He has been so good to her all her life.  This is the child who, with her brother and sister, started life in a hovel with a deaf mute mother.  Her older sister (just a couple years older) actually named Caty as a baby and was raising her and brother Elias.  And yet, she can see God's goodness in every moment and experience.  Her earliest years must have been years of miracles - each meal, each act of love and compassion - miracles.

After church, Leamarie and I were telling Suzy about the little dancing girl on the island.  Suzy teared up as she listened to our description and our anguish at not being able to help.  She counseled us that it is heartbreaking knowing that we can't help every child we see.   Perhaps, that child is representative of all the children in need throughout the world.  We may not be able to help her but we can help others and serve God in the name of that child.  And so we will.  Please keep that child and all the others in your prayers.