Friday, August 6, 2010


Sweet baby girl. I actually don't know how in the world to spell her name but it sounded similar to Leah so that is what I've called her. The tiny girl that changed the lenses through which I see my world.

This was the first time I saw you. Dressed in dirty rags, struggling to keep up. An older girl leading you by the hand near Jefferson's church. 

The sickness was obvious. While the other girls sang songs and played "London Bridge" you stood alone. Your eyes were struggling to stay open. You were so weak. 

Sweet little Leah was a three year old orphan from a nearby village. Her parents both dead of AIDS, her brother recently died of the same, & now she was fighting to live. 

A woman told me you lived with a grandmother who didn't have transportation or money to get the treatment you desperately needed. I remember picking you up, you were almost lifeless. You looked like one of those babies from the 'Save the Children' ads on TV. I would normally change the channel but now in the flesh, in my arms, here you were. You were covered in sores, surrounded by flies. I held you until you fell asleep with your precious head on my chest. The tears began falling and I couldn't turn them off. Overwhelming grief. Unanswered questions.

How could this be? How is this justice? Lord, how are you still good? The tears turned to anger. This is not fair. She does not deserve this. Why should this be her fate? Why?

I couldn't make sense of it. How was I born into prosperity and she born into this? My head knowledge failed me. There was not an answer. That night, in meeting with my team, I lost it. Everything I believed in was shaken. This God who I believed to be good would not let this happen. This God who I believed to be just would not turn a blind eye. How could I serve a God who wouldn't fix this? I was lost, I was broken. The pain and the questions were too much. I didn't sleep.

I sat down the next day and talked with another member of our team. He said, "Feel the pain. Let it sink deeply in and feel it so that you never forget. Ask the Lord for revelation. Sit still, wait, & listen." I spent hours journaling the depth of anger, the injustice, the lack of understanding, begging for a miracle, heal this baby girl.

I listened and He spoke. "Child, this is not for you to understand. I am God. You are not."
Eccl 5:2 "Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few."

Humbled. What arrogance to think I know what's best. What pride to think my ways would be better. I do not understand. Nor will I ever. That is exactly what faith is all about. Faith is being sure of what we hope for, certain of what we do not see. I do not see good in this. But I am certain that God is who He claims to be. He is a good, just, loving, compassionate, redemptive Father whose heart breaks for His children. He uses hopeless situations and makes beauty from the mess. He is God. I am not.

"Isn't that like a finite mind setting out with such righteous indignation"

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