They started telling me their stories. We call the orphans of our orphanage the Dreamers. It caught me at the throat when the children decided to speak about their mothers. Pure fantasy spewed from their lips.
“My mother brought me a huge cake,” he said with arms extended indicating the enormous dimensions.
“My mother is beautiful,” another declared with loving eyes.
“My mother is going to come and take me from this place,” the oldest of the group at seven years old crossed her arms in defiant determination. The possibility may exist, due to the foster type care we provide, that the mother would return. The probability is low. Those words shot forcefully from that little mouth straight through my heart.
Suffering doesn’t touch you until you touch the suffering. And until you are touched by suffering you will not touch a sufferer.
I used to say that I would much rather learn from the Good Book that God has provided for our benefit rather than at the cruel school of hard knocks. That is not the case now. I see value in feeling, to bring me to a new awareness not attainable by facts on a page.
In my ignorance of pushing suffering away from myself I also pushed the sufferers away. As I have learned to embrace the hardships in my life I have also embraced the suffering people. Skirting the valley sent me tumbling down in only to realize that there were others going through as well.
Three days to break the body of Jesus and see it revived again with scars to testify. Thirty-three years suffering with raw and blistering humanity to break his heart, never to see it fully restored. He is a man acquainted with suffering.
Can I be acquainted with him yet ignore his empathy and compassion? Can you?
- Angie Washington, missionary living in Bolivia, South America