Hands and house

Hands and house

Monday, March 15, 2010

Memorial Box Monday... The Blessing of the Tiger Hat

 to read more Memorial Box Monday stories about the awesome stuff God is doing in people's lives click on the Memorial Box Monday picture to the right (not the one above, I am a computer slacker and don't know how to make it work!)

This is a story from just last week and I know that I cannot write it without tears. It is one that in telling just the facts may seem small but the way the Lord used it to speak to my heart was incredibly huge.

     I remember the moment it happened for me...the calling of "The Others"...I was sitting up very late in the computer room of Ronald McDonald house, eyes heavy from tears and exhaustion, sleep beckoning yet held at bay by the enormity of what we were walking through. I got an email and in it my friend said, "You just have to tell your story...there are more Georgia Mei's out there." I laid my head down on the desk and wept. Wept for all that we had experienced in the last months, days and hours of our Georgia's heart surgery, wept in thankfullness for all the miracles God had done...and wept for the little ones laying somewhere in the world still parentless, still weak, still precious beyond belief. I just wept.

     Now, today, my life is still so very changed by these little children that I do not know. God has created them, each and every one a delight, hand crafted in His image. Each one a priceless gift. Everyday, they are there and I find myself begging God to allow me to in some small way be a voice for them, for the precious "Others."

     I find, almost daily now, moments of great profundity. Moments so heavy with layers of meaning that they take my breath away and tears just come. They are so simple. The other night at a birthday party for Doug's cousin I watched as Georgia plopped herself happily on the couch next to Doug's Uncle. She snuggled up with her milk and just looked around, content as could be at the chaos of a loving family all around her. There it was, my little girl who 7 short months ago had no idea what a family was. 7 short months ago could hardly breathe, who would go limp in my arms, completely blue. Now she sits, happily soaking in love with a sticky ice cream grin on her face like she had been there all along. And I stand back to wipe my eyes. The tears are of thankfulness, of awe for what God has done and also somehow mixed with a deep pain for those who are left behind. Those who are left behind, who still do not know the love of a family, whose bodies may still struggle far more than they have to, who are surrounded by white walls and steel cribs and almost no stimulation like my beaming content little girl on the couch used to be.

     Many days I wrestle in my heart, feeling like there must be so much more that I can be doing. Some may say that just pouring in to my own kids is fulfilling the call of God, that it is enough. In reading what Jesus has to say, I just cannot believe that anymore. I am to look after the orphans and the widows, not just my two who were orphans...not just the orphans either. The widows too. As a stay at home mom with three little kids and little extra time on my hands I can feel like my drop in the bucket for "The Others" is so very small.

     On February 18 a little boy in China passed away. Tristan, with soulful brown eyes and a smile that could melt anyone's heart died unexpectedly of heart failure (http://jacobandcarrie.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-02-25T03%3A04%3A00-06%3A00&max-results=7). I did not know him, never held him, never heard his laughter fill a room and yet I know that it did. Reading about his passing really affected me. I know that what I felt  absolutely pales in comparision to the staff at New Day Foster Home who loved  and cherished him. But a slow grief crept around me like a wet blanket. His story could have been Georgia's, hers could have been his. Why? How in any way could or can this be ok...and once again, Lord couldn't I somehow do more for the precious "Others" each one different and each one beyond beautiful?

      Ever since that first email at the Ronald McDonald House, I have felt the Lord asking me to write out our story...to write it down and allow Him to use it in any way He sees fit . I have been slowly, prayerfully writing it down when I have time. It is cathartic and exhausting at the same time. So many things to relive, so many emotions that words will never fully explain. At the point of Tristan's passing, I honestly felt like giving up. What good would one little story do in light of 147 million orphans anyway?

     A few days after reading about Tristan, I came across a woman who was doing a tribute to him. Jacob and Carrie who work at New Day Foster home have started an amazing fair trade company called Scarlet Threads (http://www.scarletthreads.org/shop.html) that sells aprons and hats made by women in their village. This woman wanted to do something in Tristan's honor and was doing a giveaway for a Chinese year of the Tiger hat made by Scarlet threads. I wrote on her blog and entered the giveaway. It was a small thing but something to honor Tristan...

    Well, I have never, ever in my whole life won anything. I was actually out of town without internet service when the drawing was held...but guess what? I won the Tristan hat (http://thebrownbulletin.blogspot.com/2010/03/winner.html)! It came in the mail two days ago and my Georgia Mei wears it with pride (seriously, I could hardly get it off her for dinner). As I watched her parading around in this hat, once again tears came. Tears for Tristan, tears for Georgia, for a little hat in honor of one heart child to another, and for my precious "Others." You see, it reminded me that no act, when done in obedience to the Lord is a small act. I may not see a big outcome from writing or from praying for these little ones that the world seems to forget but in many ways that is not the point. As I write and as I pray, I get to see more of God's heart for these little ones and His power to absolutely multiply my stay at home mama mustard seeds.

That Tiger hat? It will go into my Memorial Box once Georgia will let go of it!


Renee said...

This is absolutely a wonderful Memorial Box Monday story. Seeing how God works in the details of our lives with such compassion and love. Your story of your journey is going to touch others at the same time it glorifies God.

The Brown Family said...

Shannon, I love your gift with words and how you are blessed to be able to share your feelings and experiences.

I know that you were meant to win the Tiger hat. We were meant to meet! And you have a great work to do :)

Georgia Mei is darling in the hat.

Kim Brown

karen Dawkins said...

Isn't it just like God to provide reassurance when you feel like the battle is too big? Georgia is certainly blessed to have such a compassionate mommy. What seeds you are planting in your own children's lives!!!

Keep writing and speaking. You are God's hands and feet - and mouth - for the forgotten ones. :-)

Love you!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you so much for commenting on my first MM post! So glad to have found your blog!

Rachel said...

Just amazing.

And I followed the link to see the beautiful boy... we too have a "Tristan", so it touched my heart even more.

So thankful for your sweet girl.

(And every time I think of offering a giveaway, I unexpectedly win one... and that last one was yours! :)

Cara said...

What a beautiful reminder of God's goodness!

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...

Such a beautiful story. I had also seen the post about Tristan. Amazing how God weaves our lives together. I just love the pic of your very special daughter wearing her very special hat. Thanks for sharing.



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