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Saturday, October 9, 2010

What Is That Smell?

I was sitting in the crowd of children with this little girl of about 12 while Mike was talking to them up front. I didn't feel worthy to take such treasures, but she insisted.  And now, I am glad that I accepted her precious gift.
 I have decided that if I hang it, I will remember to pray for her.
SO, I hung it.... For her.
She is soon going to age out of the orphanage.  What will happen to her?
She is precious.

I woke up off and on last night, thinking about those who are suffering.  We live such a life of pleasantries, with family, friends and neighbors.  We can be very comfortable in our own little worlds.

But then, there are those smells, that wake us and remind us of what reality is for many orphans across the globe, including right here in the good ole' US of A!

I remember during our waiting period for Erika, while we were in relative peace with the process, leaving it in the hands of the Lord, which is where it belonged,and was anyway, there were nights I layed awake wondering if she had fallen that day. I wondered if she longed to be loved and held. I wondered if her feelings had been hurt that day, and there was nobody to tell her she was valuable as a person and beautiful inside and out.

We sent a package that never arrived. She didn't get the doll we sent, or the art supplies we mailed.
She didn't get our pictures. So, she was just there, waiting, to go to the mental institution.
Her life was over before it had even begun.

She had never been outside of her places of meager, monotonous  existence, except for an occasional trip to the hospital, where she was locked within those walls too.
She never really saw the beauty of the country in which she was born.... but she smelled the smells.... they are the same smells that haunt me to this day.

I remember that was the first thing I noticed. It isn't the same as walking into a hospital or a nursing home. Those places have distinct smells too.
To put my finger on it, it is the smell of old food,  urine, old clothes, heavily scented laundry soap, windows closed for too long, and the smell of tears and despair.

When we returned to the girl's orphanage 3 years ago, the first thing that came to me was that "smell"... I was nauseous and had to compose myself.  

I think all the smells together remind me of desperation.   I woke last night with that smell in my dream.  I was dreaming of a little one lying down on a tear stained pillow all alone.  I don't know who he was.... Maybe he was one to represent all orphans, boys and girls, who lay their heads down, and have nobody to sing them to sleep or rock them and look into their eyes and say, "I love you." "You are here for a purpose."

Our friend Steve, wrote this yesterday. His words were touching to me. Because many times people do say, "how can a loving God be loving when there are so many without homes?"
He is right.... God has given us instruction in what to do, and as believer's we don't do it.  We look at the walls and say they are too high. We look at the sea and say it can't part, and we look at the child and say, "What if?"  "What if there is something wrong with them?" "What if they are wild?" "What if they have FAS?"  What if?

God doesn't say for us to only do things that are easy for us.  When He took the chidlren of Israel through the desert it wasn't easy for them. Yet, God fed them, provided for their each and every need, including parting the Red Sea when the time came and knocking down walls!
We had more Walls knocked down for us than we could have ever imagined, and it seemed we were definitely just riding a HUGE GOD Wave.... :)

I do not want to forget that smell. I am thankful when it wakes me, so that I can pray for that little one who is suffering.
Erika was comforted many times while she lay, alone.  She remembers less and less,  and for that I am thankful, but we documented all she said when things were more fresh in her mind.
She remembered laying in her bed and being comforted by what she described as "The Lord". She does not know how she learned to pray, only that she prayed.
Our prayers are not for naught.
God chooses to work through the prayers of His people.

He also calls us to action.  Why do we in America have these giants houses, filled with furniture and extra rooms, but don't fill them with people to sleep on those beds, or read those books?
Why do we have pantries filled with more food than a few people can eat, but we don't bring somebody into our home to help us eat the food God has blessed us with?

Each and every child has a name, a story, a life lived and to live.  You can make a difference just by obeying God's calling to care for the orphan.

(the picture was from the Girl's orphanage, on our trip 3 years ago)
Igor, in the blue shirt, has Cerebral Palsy. He reminded me so much of my Tim.
The little boy sitting with the care worker was such a sweet child. He remembered Erika and Sarah.
He sat quietly with me and looked through our photo album and the tears quietly flowed.  I do not know why he was there, but he was such a sweet little boy.  He has moved to an Internat since then...
I wonder about him often.  :(

Here is the artwork from the girl who has no name, the one I had my arm around. The one I loved for just a day, but who has never left my heart. :(

2 comments:

mommajeane said...

The smells of an orphanage are very distinct. You described them well...No matter what country we have adopted from, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine,and Bulgaria it is always there. My heart often wonders why more Christians do not do more...I just know that the Lord allows me to "feel" what he feels when he looks at the hearts of "Christians" who give so many of those excuses...Have you heard the song, Motions by Mathew West? It is about going thru the motions...I love what it expresses and I do not just want to go thru the motions in my own life.. thanks for sharing your heart.

Annie said...

Smells are evocative, aren't they?

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