“Courage, dear heart.” C. S. Lewis
Today, I saw a lot of courage, a lot of love…and a whole lot of God.
To say that it was an emotional roller coaster would truly be an understatement. I personally have never experienced as much emotion and as much God in my life.
I was part of one of the food distribution teams today, and we traveled with Pastor Chema out to some of the homes that were farther away from the church. Going into it, I was nervous, because I did not even know what to expect from this experience. We went to the home of this older woman and her two daughters. This woman does not know her age, so she always says that she is 85. It seemed like a complete miracle that she was still alive, considering her living conditions. I still have not been able to wrap my head around the living conditions of so many beautiful, wonderful people. I probably won’t realize it until I am gone. This woman’s heart was so beautiful and her faith was unforgettable. They had rocks piled up around their home and we asked them why. They continued to tell us that when it rains, water washes into their home (which was made out of scavenged materials, with cardboard beds). We decided to take time tomorrow and help them build up their wall so they can at least sleep in comfort without the fear of losing the very few possessions that they have.
People who know me well, know that I love the whole abstract idea of magic. Magic has different definitions to different people. Today, what I experienced, and what the team experienced was way bigger than magic. It was God. It was God working. It was 100% living God. There were a lot of factors today that were out of our control and things did not go to plan. We almost had to cancel our first event due to the kids not showing up due to miscommunication. However God provided us with the kids, especially with a very, very special child named Crystal.
We had the honor and privilege of meeting Crystal. She was a 10 to 11 year old girl who has terminal cancer. She came in and she was very frail and sunken in. The translator was hugging her so tightly, praying for her. My heart broke, as I watched tears run down their cheeks. As I watched her throughout the event, and as the translator introduced her as “princess,” tears rolled down my face, one after the other. After all of the kids left, we surrounded her and we prayed our hearts out for her and lifted her up to God. As we were starting to pray, I looked at her eyes and a tear rolled down her cheek. I wiped her tear away and I began crying hysterically. Never have I experienced such a heart break in my life.
We told Crystal how beautiful she was, we told her that God made her special, that He loves her deeply and unconditionally. It was easy to see that her faith has been shaken by this evil that is cancer. A majority of us have been asking that faith defining question of “Why God?” I am asking myself that. Why must Crystal go through this, why must she be in so much pain. I can only hope that I will discover the answer to that once I get to the streets of gold. Don’t get me wrong, I have so much faith in God…but sometimes there are those questions that there are no answers to and I must say “Yes, Father” and continue having faith that His will be done.
Crystal changed my life. We all obviously pray that God will place His healing hand on her. But we also know that His plan for us is so much greater…no matter what we wish it would be. If God’s plan for her is to come home to His precious arms, Crystal has given me a reason to be more excited when I go home to the Lord. I get to see her beautiful face again. I get to walk with her in streets of gold, rather than streets of dirt and dust. She will no longer be bound by the slavery that is cancer. Those chains will be gone and she will have a reason to smile once again.
If we’ve even had a sliver of the impact on her, that she had on us…that would be enough. I pray that as she goes to sleep tonight, she knows that she is so loved by this team, and more importantly that she is so loved by the God who created her beautiful heart. I hope that from this night forward when she says her prayers, she is reminded of the pure love that we have for her and that God has for her. God bless that beautiful little girl and her precious heart. Never have I been so heart broken and inspired by courage in my life. I love that little girl with all of my heart and with all of my being. I think everyone else on this team would agree. My cup of courage is now overflowing, and my heart is anxious for the day that I get to see her again, whether it be tomorrow, or in God’s almighty kingdom. Courage, dear heart.