Two years ago, as we both looked down on these two Yami says, “Look at these two blessings.”
Blessings? I think. Blessing was the furthest thing from my mind. I was thinking about how both moms are younger than 20 years old. That one of these baby girl’s fathers is dead and the other is abusive. I was looking at them and thinking that these precious, innocent angels have no idea what’s in store for them.
Yami sees blessings. I see diapers and school uniforms and childcare if you have any hope of working and the dire chance of finding a future mate who will love these two as his own.
We work with kids in children’s homes. But often that line gets blurred. It’s hard to love a child and not, in turn, love what he loves as well. Which means that sometimes we start loving their families. Maria is one of those family members and she is a delight.
But back to little blessings. Maria (not her real name) has two (not the ones pictured above) and after the second c-section, she asked that her tubes be tied. She was told she was too young to make that decision. She needed to be at least 35 with 4 children. But she couldn’t feed the first. And an absolute deadbeat helped her create the second. We talked to her about birth control, but no matter how many times we went over it, she couldn’t understand that she needed to take it more often than once a week.
Yesterday, Jilli tells me that Maria has just had her third. Sigh. One more blessing that she will love with everything in her, but cannot provide for or keep safe.
Today guys? Today, we learned that this blessing has died. One day. She was only here one day.
And suddenly I’m not thinking about diapers or uniforms or wicked stepparents but about the light in Maria’s eyes. This beautiful girl has never made sense to me. She fights for survival every single day and yet when I show up to visit, she leads me to their shack as though we’ve arrived at her palace in which she has not a care in the world. The sparkle in her eyes made me love her instantly. Regardless of the trash, the smell, the complete lack of education or opportunities, the dirty, dirty children with distended bellies at her feet, she smiles. And this smile is not simply muscles in her face responding to the orders from command central. It shines. It conveys the existence of a joy that baffles me.
Will this be what finally extinguishes that unexplainable spark?
Why am I writing about this? Well, it’s all I can think about, and today is my day to blog. I had other things prepared. But the sadness of one beautiful and painfully insignificant girl trapped in extreme poverty took precedence. I know that you thinking about her will not change her currently reality, but I want her to be thought of. Known in a way that is unavoidably superficial and profoundly real as we groan along with her in her grief.
And I want you to pray. Pray for this girl that you do not know but whose pain breaks you a little bit whether or not you’ve ever felt it yourself. The doctor had recommended that she not be told. That the wounds from her operation are too fresh and that something like crying could rupture it. She needed the truth. She needed to be supported, held, surrounded. Not lied to by the people she should be able to trust. The truth came hours and hours and hours after it should have been shared. After receiving earth shattering news she was told to be strong. Not to cry. To stay calm. I’m trying to convince myself that they care so much about her stitches and want to spare her a second operation. I’m trying to lie to myself.
Pray for her physical healing. Pray that somehow, from somewhere, she will find comfort and that she’ll be allowed to grieve. And please please please pray for that sparkle. I’m so scared that the next time I see her, those eyes will be dead.
That life will finally have defeated her.
Today, we lost one blessing. Please Lord, don’t less us lose two.