The Language of Love

‘And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…”

One week ago I was sitting on the cement courtyard of Marie’s Home for Special Needs Children in Delmas Haiti. We had come as a team of Cause 4 Life interns to spend the day with the children there.  

I was holding little Naika on my lap, singing along to the worship music coming from the little speaker she clasped tight in her hands.  She would have sat there all morning, feeling the vibrations although blindness keeps her from seeing her surroundings…and listening to the words even though they are in English and she can’t understand most of them. But I know she understands the language of Love…so I hold her tight. And as we sing ‘Oh I run into your arms, I run into your arms, the riches of Your love, will always be enough , nothing compares to Your embrace, Light of the world forever reign’ …I get a sense that God is holding both of us.

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That somehow His arms are holding each of these orphans…many of them spending their days lying on the floor in the darkened room, living in a world with so few resources, and such a lack of supports and therapy. That somehow as they lie on that dark linoleum floor, muscles tight and cramped….or spend hours looking out of the barred courtyard into the street…the only outside world they experience in a day…that somehow He is cradling them close to His heart.

These children are without families of their own to love and care for them, living in a country where there is a struggle for daily nutrition, where the children with disabilities are the last to get fed and cared for. Their past is filled with neglect and rejection, their present is fragile, and their future so uncertain. And we struggle to make sense of it all. And yet in that moment I get a sense that the Love that I feel for this little girl is a picture of my Father’s love for me. 

Just as I hold Naika close, He has held me when my heart is breaking, when the darkness closes in, obscuring the light. Although I can’t change Naika’s world,  the darkness she lives in, or the uncertainty of her future… I can love her in this moment. And she relaxes in my lap, humming along, appearing not to have a care in the world. And I am reminded that just as God in His infinite wisdom does not always ‘fix’ my world….although I know He could…yet He holds me tight, close to His heart, reminding me how much I am loved.

My world may not change…the pain might remain…and the darkness might not instantly vanish. Yet He whispers to my heart a promise from Isaiah 41:13 “I will hold your right hand saying ‘Fear not, I will help you’.” And I can relax into those arms, ever strong, ever in control of the storms of life, knowing they will not let go.

“If your eyes are on the storm, you wonder if I love you still, if your eyes are on the cross you know I always have and I always will.”  (Casting Crowns – ‘Just Be Held’)20151223_092853


Almost five months have passed since I wrote this…and I sit, in the quiet of my home beside the twinkling lights of a fir tree . Comfort, warmth, love. Beauty.  Things I want to share…to spill over into Naika’s world, into the lives of those who have so little. For now, I’m going in my heart with the team who is doing just that, flying to Haiti and bringing Christmas to Marie’s Home. I am so grateful they are going.  

And tonight, on Christmas Eve, I am reminded that those strong arms…ever in control… once reached up in helpless dependancy to a young mother living on the brink of poverty. No where to lay her baby’s head but a feeding trough.

That those strong arms once reached out to heal blind eyes, bless children, bring life to diseased limbs…entering into the depth of human suffering and pain.

That they were once stretched out in love on a cross, helpless against the undeserved accusations…disabled….and yet even in the weakest moment, triumphing over sin and death. Bringing Hope and Life to any heart that will receive that Love offered.

As I look back on that hot day 5 months ago in Delmas Haiti, I am thankful that God showed me another glimpse of His love through eyes that cannot see…and a little girl with a bubbly laugh named Naika.  And I am reminded of a quote I read recently…


“He has chosen not to heal IMG_7404me,

But to hold me,

The more intense the pain,

The closer the embrace”    

Joni Eareckson Tada

 

 

 

 

‘Fear Not’

It has been over a year since my last (and only!) post. There’s the truth…sometimes my good intentions in life get sidetracked. (well often:o) But over the past summer as I traveled with Joni and Friends to California and then Haiti, I found myself taking more time to reflect…and to share my reflections. And that renewed in me the desire to share some of the thoughts, and ponderings of the last while…some new, some from the last few years.

I was moved this week by a comment about words from a young Pakistani girl named Malala. She said“‘Let us pick up our books and our pens… They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.’” Her quote and her story reminded me that words are a gift. The ability to read and write is a gift. And gifts are meant to be shared. So thanks for taking the time to read along!

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‘FEAR NOT’ October 2015

                  Sometimes life is so daily. Routine. And yet…in the middle of the ordinary, we feel a touch…a tap on the shoulder, a reminder of a truth that we have forgotten. A few weeks ago I was hurrying through a crosswalk and my attention was drawn to a toddler crossing with me. She was about a foot and a half tall, and probably had not even celebrated her 2nd birthday.  But she stood in the middle of the intersection on unsteady legs, with all the authority her foot and a half could muster, holding out her tiny palm to stop the oncoming traffic.  As I hurried across the street, I watched as her mom tried to draw her attention away from the waiting cars. With words like ‘Don’t worry hunny, they’re not going to move. They have a red light, that means STOP. It’s safe for us to walk, but we have to hurry! Come hold Mommy’s hand!’  

And as I continued on my way, I thought of how often in life I get stuck in the fear of ‘oncoming traffic’. I freeze in my tracks, using all the energy I can muster to try to control things that look big, and overwhelming. Fear takes over. My eyes are focused, like the little girls, on the oncoming cars…and the possible outcomes. Not taking in the lines on the road and the flashing man put there for my safety, the red light telling the cars not to move. Or the strong gentle hand reaching out to lead me safely across, and the assurance in the voice telling me where to walk.

And I think of a reminder from my Heavenly Father in Isaiah 41:13  “For I the Lord your God will hold you right hand saying ‘Fear not. I will help you’.  And another promise “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” And I hope that today I can remember that little girl, and the crosswalk, and the Hand that is waiting to lead me safely to the other side, if only I’m willing to look away from the oncoming traffic….hold on and trust with all my heart.