Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cry Out

[what's brewing: a full {broken} bodied blend ]

A young boy of 11 years sat in our office yesterday afternoon with wide eyes, carefully watching and listening to everything we said. He spoke softly, answering our questions and helping us determine what was needed to settle him in to his new home at our orphanage. We gave him a set of new sheets, a warm blanket and comforter for his bed, a haircut and a pack of personal hygiene products that he could keep. We introduced him to the other boys in his room and then carefully unpacked his one backpack of belongings. I caught a glimpse of a smile when I introduced our puppies to him, warning him of the kissing attacks that they attempt to sneak in when an opportunity presents itself. The pain of the past 6 years was revealed in his eyes – the abuse, abandonment, the struggle to survive on the streets.

The details of his life follow a similar storyline to the lives of many other children in our home, but as I listened to the details of his story, I was deeply struck by the world’s injustice that necessitated his placement in our home. He has been robbed of his innocence; he's been abused and oppressed by the world around him, inundated with painful messages that sharply contradict the truth about who he is as a child of God. I can only imagine what kind of questions and thoughts must be racing around in his mind as he is cautiously taking in his new surroundings, debating whether he should trust us or not. My heart is broken as I watch him navigate this new environment, yet I am desperately hopeful for the healing that God can provide.

I barely made it through our Bible study last night – I could not keep my mind from thinking about the painful events he has endured, and each time I thought about it my eyes would fill with tears. As we drove home, I stared out the window and prayed for a peaceful first night in the Children’s Home for this sweet boy. As I prayed, I was reminded of a Third Day song that came out several years ago. It communicates a great truth about the hope of Christ for the hurting. As I listened to it, tears rolled down my cheeks and I simply rested as my heart sang along –

There is hope for the hopeless, rest for the weary
And love for the broken hearts;
There is grace and forgiveness,
Mercy and healing that meets you wherever you are.

Cry out to Jesus.

[To hear the song, click on the video screen in the right column]


Rodger and Lynne Schmidt Mozambique said...

Dear Coffeegirl,

Your blog quite literally was on target with the way I've been feeling today. I volunteer weekly at an orphanage started by Mother Teresa in Mozambique. I've been volunteering for 3 years and most days it's just routine, but some days it just hits me like a ton of bricks the reality of these children and my heart breaks. Today was one of those days.

Today, 2 different babies were very agitated and inconsolable. As I picked them up, their bodies were rigid and backs arched away from the snuggling most babies like to do. I tried singing and talking and walking with them. Then I got the idea to just hold my cheek next to theirs. Something about the "skin to skin" contact was calming to them. Like they had found the thing that all babies need but they didn't know they needed. Something unfamiliar to them, but something that they craved.

I was struck by the sadness of their lives but happy that God has put me in the position to be His hands and feet and His soft cheek next to their sweet little baby faces. Even if I only get to do it one day a week.

Keep that sweet, tender heart! It hurts like crazy sometimes, but it's SO worth it!

Lynne in Mozambique

Ellie said...

Praying for "your" boy to adjust well this week.

I spent the weekend with a different kind of heartache. One where there is no future to hope for. I help at a home for the dying. We have one old man who never had any family. He doesn't speak the language the rest do. He doesn't understand anything, and I am not really sure how with it he still is.

He screams night and day. Loud yells, hoping to attract attention. Because of his screams, the workers usually put him in a room at the end of the hall all alone with the door shut. Alone. When I go in, I found that if I pat his shoulder or rub his head, he quiets down. He might doze for five minutes, but as soon as I leave, the screams begin again.

How to reach him? How to give him comfort? I don't know. I don't know the nightmares his life has held. I can only rub his head and pray for him for the few minutes I have with him every week. But his endless screams echo in my heart when I walk away.

Lord, this is a child You desire, too. An abandoned old man whose mind is no longer whole. He's hurting without rest. Reach down to comfort him.

I know it is a comfort without a future. They come here to die, not to live, but my heart hurts for him. He needs some comfort in the few weeks he has left.

Yet even eight hours in this home wear on me, leaving me drained. Caring is hard. Easier to make your heart hard and shut the door on the screams.

Lord, keep my heart gentle.

cindyb said...


Diana said...

I have always loved Isaiah 61 in the King James version. Sometime ago a friend sent it to me in the New International Reader's Version.

Isaiah 61
The Lord's Servant Accomplishes His Work
1 The Spirit of the Lord and King is on me.
The Lord has anointed me
to tell the good news to poor people.
He has sent me to comfort
those whose hearts have been broken.
He has sent me to announce freedom
for those who have been captured.
He wants me to set prisoners free
from their dark prisons.
2 He has sent me to announce the year
when he will set his people free.
He wants me to announce the day
when he will pay his enemies back.
Our God has sent me to comfort all those who are sad.
3 He wants me to help those in Zion who are filled with sorrow.
I will put beautiful crowns on their heads
in place of ashes.
I will anoint them with oil to give them gladness
instead of sorrow.
I will give them a spirit of praise
in place of a spirit of sadness.
They will be like oak trees that are strong and straight.
The Lord himself will plant them in the land.
That will show how glorious he is.
4 They will rebuild the places that were destroyed long ago.
They will repair the buildings that have been broken down for many years.
They will make the destroyed cities like new again.
They have been broken down for a very long time.
5 Outsiders will serve you by taking care of your flocks.
People from other lands will work in your fields and vineyards.
6 You will be called priests of the Lord.
You will be named workers for our God.
You will enjoy the wealth of nations.
You will brag about getting their riches.
7 Instead of being put to shame
my people will receive a double share of wealth.
Instead of being dishonored
they will be glad to be in their land.
They will receive a double share of riches there.
And they'll be filled with joy that will last forever.
8 The Lord says, "I love those who do what is right.
I hate it when people steal and do other sinful things.
So I will be faithful to those who do what is right.
And I will bless them.
I will make a covenant with them
that will last forever.
9 Their children after them will be famous among the nations.
Their families will be praised by people everywhere.
All those who see them will agree
that I have blessed them."
10 The people of Jerusalem will say,
"We take great delight in the Lord.
We are joyful because we belong to our God.
He has dressed us with salvation as if it were our clothes.
He has put robes of godliness on us.
We are like a groom who is dressed up for his wedding.
We are like a bride who decorates herself with her jewels.
11 The soil makes the young plant come up.
A garden causes seeds to grow.
In the same way, the Lord and King will make godliness grow.
And all of the nations will praise him."


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