‘Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, shall come to thee oh Israel.’
Trucks engines roar outside the Efata complex here in Lima, birds are chirping, and the strains of these notes on the piano are all fighting for attention as I sit here in the ‘dormitorio’ and type.
Just minutes ago I was sitting in the same spot holding little Belen, a 3 week old, beautiful little girl. She was found on a doorstep this December, wrapped in a blanket surrounded thoughtfully with some baby supplies. The police named her ‘Belen’ spanish for “Bethlehem. She was brought here to the Children’s Home as a transition to a Home more suited for infant care, since they knew there were willing hearts to care for her here. What a privilege to spend the morning with her.
I looked down at her perfect little hands, dark soft hair, and wondered what life would hold for her.
‘The helpless commits himself to you, You are a Helper to the Fatherless.’ Psalm 10:14 I had read a few mornings ago in Psalms.
She is so tiny…so helpless. So beautiful and precious. ‘Lord be a Father to her.”
And I thought of her mom….and what she is facing right now. What overwhelming situations led her to leave her baby girl, thoughtfully placed so someone would find her. What sort of hole is in her heart right now?
‘He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.’ Psalm 147:3 ‘Lord, be the Healer for this mother’s heart. The Provider for her needs.’
Belen finished her bottle and needed a change. Her tiny lungs let me know she wasn’t happy with the process, but soon she calmed, consoled by having her needs met. Moments later as I finished putting on a fresh clean outfit, Lisa arrived to say they were here to pick her up to process her information. ‘And when will they bring her back?’ I asked.
‘They won’t’ she said. She’ll go into the system to get processed to another home. ‘Belen, we’re going to miss you!’
And just like that, little Belen was carried out of the doors of the Efata children’s home.
And my heart is sad that my time with her was so short.
Today, families will gather in warmth, and light to celebrate with gifts, and food and laughter. What does Christmas look like for little Belen? What does it look like for her mom?
‘O Come, O come, Emmanuel…’ we hear the longing in the words.
And He has come. In the form of a helpless baby like little Belen. Who needed someone to meet His every need. And through His coming, He chose to walk this earth, to feel our humanity, to feel the pain of our good byes, and to weep with those He loved. He came to meet us in our need…as our Healer, our Comforter, our Redeemer, our Restorer, our Saviour.
‘Dios con Nosotros’ ‘God with us’
And He calls us to go and be present, He gives us the privilege to be His hands, and share His heart.
‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ Deuteronmy 5:11