Hands and house

Hands and house

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Want To Be His Arms....Baja Mission trip journal #2

I write this while sitting up late praying on our first night at the orphanage. Oh how it makes me ache to be back there right now...

I Want to be His arms…..

The amazing girl we get to sponsor...

It is the night of our first day back here at the orphanage and my mind is so full of so many things. Part of me wants to write first of what we have done today, of the insane crazy chaos of taking care of 9 boys, of how this place, red mud and all feels far more like home than our house in Hood River…but there is something that is far more pressing.

I want first to write about a little girl, bright brown eyes, round cheeks and more than a pinch of naughtiness…I met her at the Christmas concert tonight. About 6 years old, she was the one that I had to keep shushing, each time her eyes would flash and she would get just a bit louder and I frantically tried to remember enough Spanish to tell her to respect her friends who were performing. So she would snicker and I would shush trying hard to be firm and yet hopelessly wanting her to feel loved. …as the concert drug on and my frustration rose she did something that I did not expect. She scooched up next to me and leaned hard on my legs. Without thinking I scooped her up like one of my own and held her tightly on my lap. Once I had her there, I was not sure what she would do. At first she sat straight up as if uncomfortable and then, she began to slowly sink back into my embrace. I held her close and kissed her satiny hair, so humbled by the undeserved intimacy…then she began to rock ever so slowly and turned so I could hold her almost like an infant. For about 20 minutes I held and rocked this sweet child, her cheek pressed into mine, kissing her cheeks and she melted more and more into the embrace….and once again my world began to be broken down by one sweet girl aching for love. Oh how it hurts even to write it now, it hurts so badly that she does not get held every night, that she is six years old and melts into the arms of a complete stranger instead of a Mama of her own. Oh how I wish I could be there and just hold her and hold her every night, to make sure that she hears that she is beautiful, that she knows that she is cherished, that she has without a doubt a safe place to melt and be held forevermore…. we found out later that this little girl is the sister of the sweet girl that we sponsor. About a year ago they were found at a garbage dump in a neighboring town. Living in garbage, eating garbage, covered in lice....never having known anything else. Never having lived inside, never been to school...oh how it breaks my heart again to be there, hold her pour in to her beautiful heart....

Then….after the concert we had to wrangle the 9 unruly boys back into their home. These boys were tough, some hard as rocks and beyond ticked off that we made them leave their playing to go to a Christmas concert where they had to stay still and be quiet! After losing a few of them (yes, they ran away but I did chase them back! ), it was time for us to go for the night. I went one by one to the boys and said, “Buenos Noches”. What I got back was tough shoulders and little eye contact but then the last guy in the line who had watched me making my rounds, flung his arms out and wrapped them around me, nestling tight for a good night hug….and it happened again, these tough boys who had me wanting to say a few choice words and really doubting…they began to melt. I walked back through them and said, “Buenos Noches” one more time…this time making sure to touch them on the shoulder or give them a second to respond…those tough shoulders? Melted. Those rough boys snuggled ever so slightly in and paused as if to breath in that space for just a second….and all of a sudden I would do it all again, I would rough house and yet break up the fights, I would laugh and chase and bring them back over and over again if it meant that they could have even that split second of a tiny glimpse of a mother’s love…

…and so tonight I ache. I do not know what it all means. All I know is that all I desire right now is to be His arms. God’s arms and to wrap myself and my heart around these kids and to pour into every single one that God brings across my path until I leave here completely spent, utterly broken and never the same. Oh how they are hurting, oh how they desire love, oh how can our world be so blind to them? They are beyond beautiful, each face a beaming portrait of Christ. Oh, there is no where else I would want to be right now than right here pouring in right in front of me in any way that I can. This is what is real and true and beautiful and vivid and good. It makes every doubt, every fear, every discomfort fall away. This is true life, the Gospel fully alive.

But you know all about it—

the contempt, the abuse.

I dare to believe that the luckless

will get lucky someday in you.

You won't let them down:

orphans won't be orphans forever.
Psalm 10:14


Renee said...

Oh Shannon....this just breaks my heart. I read it outloud to Joel too as we both feel so sad that any child has had to live as this sweet girl...how wonderful you were able to hold her...cherish her for a few minutes...that she could feel loved. My goodness Shannon, your heart must hurt from all the needs the boys you cared for and the others too have. How does this happen in our world. I just read on Linny's blog there are over 163,000,000 orphans.
God bless all those you hold in your arms....God bless you as you open your arms for Jesus.

Susan A said...

got tears in my eyes, thank you so much for sharing and giving me a glimpse to understanding what it means to be there for the orphans, to feed them in love in special times. :)

JenLaible said...

Beautiful Shannon! I can't wait to hear more! Thank you so much for sharing and for letting us participate in a small way!

JenLaible said...

Beautiful Shannon! Thank you for sharing and for letting us participate in what the Lord is doing!

kristinab said...

Crying now. Inspiration to be his arms! Thank you

kristinab said...

Crying now. Inspiration to be his arms! Thank you


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