Hands and house

Hands and house

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Heartbreak and Beauty Inextricably Entwined

 So I am pretty sure that Mexico is the only place where the propane guy drives around playing crazy music like an ice cream man...at 7am. We are doing really well, spent time just as a family on an almost deserted white sand beach yesterday diggin in the sand, collecting shells, talking about God and just enjoying being together. The kids have not pulled out a single toy yet...just buckets and shovels and each other hanging out in the sunshine and I keep realizing more and more that this too is Holy ground. Spalshing in the water, watching the moon rise as a million stars pop out, sleeping so close to Parker that I could feel his sweet little boy breath, seeing Ravenna poke her head out of her sleeping bag with a mischeivious grin....watching Georgia slowly open her eyes to the day only to snuggle right up on me and go back to sleep. Life moves so fast at home sometimes and I just want to soak all of this in.

     It has also been a really good time of prayer and conversation for Doug and I as we sort out in our hearts what it is that God has spoken since we have been gone. Some of it we can clearly identify and some of it seems to glimmer at the edges elusively right now. As an umbrella over it is this....we are just so darned blessed. We may not have much to show for it in the way some deem important but we feel absolutely blanketed in God's goodness.
   I wrote a little bit more last night....but there was a full moon glittering up the sea that was just too spectacular to miss.

    Blessings on you all.....Also!!!! I got a picture to upload, I will try to do more at the bottom of this post!!!!


Warm water sloshes, Johnson and Johnson’s baby shampoo fills the air with it’s soft scent…It is a familiar scene in such an unfamiliar world. The little guy grins and wiggles in his tub as his back gets washed…by my tender Georgia Mei.

This guy is just about 1 year old and was sold by his mother at birth possibly for drug money but no one knows for sure. He has a giagantic grin and the thickest lashes that rim his mischeivious brown eyes. The police brought him to the orphanage as a thin, frail, almost unresponsive baby…and now he darts around the room looking for excitement and sometimes trouble. He struggles and the damage to his brain is showing up as he develops more and more. Georgia learned quickly to tell this little firecracker, “No Mas!” as his favorite pastime became nestling his fingers deep into her hair with an intent to never let go. She started to see him coming arms outstretched, fingers open and she would yell, “No Mas!” which means “No more” in Spanish…yet every morning as her little eyes opened one of the first things she would say was, “I go to Sarah’s? Help babies?” quickly followed by, “I loooove Sarah’s Mama. “

Each day we went, Georgia running ahead of me to get to the door, Ravenna and Parker not far behind, all ready to care for those that the world would deem “the very least.” And honestly there was absolutely nothing, not a speck of ‘leastness’ about them. Bright eyes, warm smiles, so open and ready to love.

I recently watched a video that a friend of mine sent to me. I am writing this while in our tent without internet but will try to find the link if I can later. I the video it talked about how the kingdom of God is exactly opposite of the world. Those we hold high and esteem in our culture usually hold no ‘rank’ at all…but those we see as cast off, rejected, “the least of these”….this author calls them the true royalty.

As I held these children and watched them smile and snuggle and giggle and cry…and yes dart across the room to even go for my daughter’s hair I could not help but think, “I am amongst royalty.” Someday, I will stand next to these precious children in Heaven in awe, and it is easy to see why just by looking at them and interacting with them for a few days. That Scripture never felt so real or true.

So to watch as my three year old knelt and tenderly dipped her own chubby hands in the water to then gently pour the trickle and then rub the back of this sweet boy (and possibly to think about whether his hair was long enough for a tug) felt like a Holy moment. My little one who knows all too well what it means to struggle comforting one who journey is still so long.

Ice cream…

It happened quietly and tenderly, this Holy moment with a girl whose name means ice cream. I met her on our very first night and her name caught me off guard because at the same time as hearing it her house mother was saying, “There is not a right action with this one, not even one.” At 11 years old it seemed that so much pain had caused thick walls and a nature that took care of itself first. When the box of Princess stickers was placed on the table, before we could even explain what was going to happen, she had them unwrapped and was hiding a good portion for herself. I saw her push others out of the way to get the things that she wanted. With thick, long black hair and serious eyes that seemed to look right into you, I could not get a smile out of her to save my life. Not even with my really goofy attempts at Spanish could bring some light to her face. When I hugged her goodnight my heart felt so heavy for all that must have happened to build walls so thick.

Throughout the week I would see her and smile, sometimes give her a quick pat on the shoulder, always call her by her sweet namesake …and I would pray, even late at night God would bring her to my mind, this ice cream girl. Nothing else dramatic happened, just lots of little interactions here and there usually before or after meals. So when it happened I had to hold back tears.

We were sitting near the front during worship. She was sitting next to me and we were singing the songs. Then I noticed a gently warmth on my shoulder and turned to see this girl’s head resting there, sort of half still off my shoulder as if to say, “I want to be but not too close”. I smiled and she straightened back up looking straight ahead…but a minute or so later it was there again, and this time it stayed and got heavier and heavier until she actually let me place my hand on her head in an embrace… and I sat there so humbled and so broken holding this dear child. This was an honor that I in no way had earned….and it pointed to such an innocent hunger to be comforted and I wanted nothing else but to stay to walk with her through life to cheer her on to listen to the things on her heart to be that safe shoulder for her to depend on. Instead I sat holding back tears and praying, thanking God for the honor of that moment, praying that He would use it to bring healing, miraculous deep healing….praying that He would make a way to bring us back and that I would never forget this little one named after ice cream.

  Come back and check this because I am adding photos but each one takes about 10 minutes to upload!!!!!!


Renee said...

I am reading your posts with great enjoyment and living through your time with these sweet orphans. The joy and love your children share with others is so very precious...THank you for giving us all the opportunity to be a part of your journey.

TanyaLea said...

MAJOR "Kleenex Alert!" needed with this post. I could hardly read the end of it through the heavy tears welled up in my eyes.

What BEAUTIFUL experiences you are having as family. They are ALL so touching and very profound in their own way. But I was especially taken in by "icecream girl" ...like you, I just wanted you to be able to CONTINUE comforting her and bringing out from her shell. But you DID show her love...GOD's love, through you. So truly touching in every way. It's clear that God placed you there in that very moment, for such a time as this. And because of your connection to her, other's will now be lifting her up in prayer, too. Before I lay my head down tonight, surely, I will lift Icecream Girl up before our Father! <><

love you!!

Gretchen said...

What an amzaing and wonderful Christmas you are having. This is what Christmas is all about.

Susan A said...

thank you so much for sharing, when I read along, I can see that I have yet to fully understand and love "the least" in the kingdom. I have so much to learn.

Praying that your stay there will bear much fruit in the little ones' lives, including Ice Cream.

Jewels of My Heart said...

Words seem insufficient.... thank you for loving the children and for sharing Jesus with them...

Wendy in OH said...

Hope all is well, miss your blogging...

*Overflowing* said...

I'm reading this in tears. What a beautiful post! God is using you guys mightily!!!!


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