Welcome this day to a piece of my heart that has been open, wounded, sored and then calloused and then revived! Did I loose you, walk with me a bit.
When the chief and I came back from our first adoption of little Ruby. I was ruined, gloriously but ruined from what I saw in Ethiopia. No longer were theses photos on the other side of my computer screen. I had seen faces, touched hands, and the memory of these burnt me. For a few years I had lost touch with the world around me. I did not want to be in the world around me. The only thing I can compare it to is being in a war (I was never in a real war) but my Father was and when he came back from Vietnam it changed him to the core. My mother says that he slept with a knife under his pillow. He was disturbed, never to be the same again.
In our time in Ethiopia we went to a Mother Theresa's Mission of Charity hospital. We were the first group to travel with our agency and the coordinator in Ethiopia wanted to show us the clinic. We were game with that, I mean how bad can it be? We left our children at the transition home and went to town. We were dropped off at the hospital that was behind a closed gate. She (the agency coordinator) got out chatted with the hospital director a French Doctor and then told us she has errands to run. PAUSE. Have you been in Africa to run an errand, now I know this takes ALL DAY! :) The French Doctor took us on a hospital tour, the doctors and nurses here were all volunteer workers. Many young adults mostly from Europe, with gloves on, and compassion in their eyes. We began very quick to smell something familiar and disturbing. Injera bread and rotting flesh. I know nasty. I can never forget the smell. We entered the hospice ward where we thought the French doctor would just pass. We ENTERED IT. The beds were full, full of dying people with full blown AIDS, I had never seen a person with AIDS before, and then Leprosy. There were beds and beds. Most of us held our breath, the stench of it would literally knock you over. All the while trying to not hold our hands over our face or even grimace. We exited, and thought that with the look of shock on our faces we would not continue through the halls of hospice. We went through a corridor, thank goodness. Then this is what changed us for forever. We entered the children's Hospice room. A familiar feeling of loosing our son Hudson drew tears to my eyes and a great lump in my throat. A sudden shock to my knees I did not want to be here, I did not want to see this, remove me and do it fast oh please. A child came towards us with open sores covering her body. Fleshy sores, she held out her hands to me, the closer she got the more alarmed I grew. What is going to happen she will give me her leprosy, oh my good God! She came closer and I realized this child about 7 was blind. Her eyes were almost closed shut she did not stop. She touched me and I pulled her closer and so did another young girl on our team she was an American teenager in Ethiopia with her mom to pick up her siblings. Talk about life changing for this teen. There were more kids, with more leprosy all craving to be touched. My sense of freak out was super naturally calmed.
We walked into the building full of children in cribs, crippled, blind, lepers, I can not tell you that my body just standing because Christ was holding me. It was as if I walked right into the Gospels in the bible itself. I wanted to cry from the top of my lungs, "JESUS HEAL THEM, Take my life, take me, heal them!" I looked around at the other parents, forgetting I was in a room with other Americans. Not a dry eye, and no words. We just had no words. I asked the French doctors many questions about there care. How will they be saved, who will help them, can they be adopted. He answered me Many of these children will die, we are doing what we can to make them comfortable with what we have. No one will adopt them.
What felt like hours in this room was probably only 30 minutes then our ride was here. No one spoke, not a sound. It disturbed me for ever.
All that to say, when I came back to the United States, everything I did, said, were tinged through what I had saw. The little girls face would come up in my mind in normal day circumstances. When I went to Bible Study and moms would ask for prayers for there busy schedules to not be overwhelmed with life because they had to much going on,I wanted to vomit. When I was in a circle of women and we would chat about mundane life, and one of them would complain about needing more room in their house maybe a playroom and a quest room, I wanted to scream "WHO THE HELL CARES; DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE YOU SPOILED BRAT!" I didn't yell it. But I just removed myself, I could no longer relate. It was a lonely place and I could only at that time relate to others like me who have been shaken into action.
Lets skip a few years to today. The Lord has been doing something in my heart that has been hugely hard. He has shown me how much a good thing can turn into an idol. Even if its a noble, amazing, humble, righteous, and completely selfless. I read this a few weeks ago from my friend Laura. Little by little the Lord had been showing me, that in my desire to seek less of those around me because I can not relate I have became unapproachable. I have also alienated many around me because I felt they have alienated me for being this person. In the forgiveness that I have to walk in each day just like my friend Amy speaks of here she also mentions how the forgiveness has taught her not to hold grudges. Grudges are easy to have when you feel righteous in your actions. The Lord had asked Chief and I to do something BIG that would shake the foundation of our being. Bringing our kids home we have done that. We have had many criticalness come our way, and that is very normal for others following a grand call like this. It would be way too easy otherwise right? Since when has the Lord been for Easy?! What stands to great love is the ability to love and forgive when the words have slayed you, or not holding it personal because it is His to take offense. I took offense greatly. This is the part where some major surgery is in the works.
I am still this person, this completely crazy passionate for orphan care, Africa, and the poor, chica. I will always be this girl. This lesson my great God is teaching me is not to become less of that person. Its to become more of Him through this passion, with love, with forgiveness, and not letting it take over my entire thinking, letting HIM take it over. It can, some days it does. Its okay to be knocked on the side of the head, most times very necessary! I wish everyone could have been there in Mothers Theresa that day, for perspective. It won't stop me from sharing, reaching, educating about orphan care when I can. Our family was chosen to be a walking testimony after all!
It does change my heart for others that don't share the same compassion. The grudges in my heart have become almost non-existent to where I am free to love. Only because of Him.Forgiveness has washed away my bitterness and with the Love that has helped me with that, I am hoping that others on the other side of that grudge would also walk in forgiveness towards my offenses towards them.