THEY STOLE MY HEART
I have been able to process a bit more of my experience now that I have been home for about a month. What I was able to understand more deeply is God's heart. Love is suffering. If you don't suffer, you don't really love. We humans are so broken and selfish-- from other people's choices inflicting pain on us, from our own pain and wrong choices, and from all sorts of things. In all that we can be so offensive to God. God, being perfect, could have said, "That's enough! All of you get away from me forever." But instead He said, "I would rather suffer greatly and have them with me. I am going to make a way..."
I guess going through all the things I did, especially the hard things, I understand. I remember sitting in the kitchen on the day I was going to leave for South Africa, totally freaked out, totally afraid of all the unknown. God was saying, "Will you love these kids, like I have loved you?" Going to uncomfortable places to reach them? Jesus left his throne in heaven and was born into a feeding trough in a stable (how uncomfortable is that). And there were things that were hard there, frustrations and sufferings. God was saying, "Will you love these kids, like I have loved you? This is only a little bit compared to what I went through for you."
"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1-2
God called me to go all the way across the world to be a part of these kids lives, to somehow be used by God to show that deep deep love to them. One little forgotten, abandoned life is worth all the suffering in the world to Jesus.
On a less philosophical level, I have learned so much about kids, and this trip has grabbed my heart. I think of those kids everyday and hate to only be in their lives for just a few short months. I wish I could be with them long term, what they really need. They stole my heart and I am not sure if I can get it back. Perhaps I am meant to be there longer.
Amanda was snuggled with me on the couch one cold rainy day. I think about her a lot. She had all sorts of medical issues including chronic lung damage from the problems she had in the past that made her talk and cough like a 70 year old woman, who'd been smoking for 40 years. But she had the most wonderful sense of humor and both of us would laugh together hysterically. I want to go back for her. I want to go back for all of them. We will see what God has in mind.