He’s standing in the back, watching. I brush my hand across the black nubbiness of his head. I bend over and reach down. “Would you like up?”
He raises his arms, and I pick him up, balance him on my right hip. I sway to the music and sing in the dark night of Haiti—Joy to the World. He doesn’t look at me, never says a word. Just keeps his eyes glued to the black and white children on the outdoor screen. But sometimes he scratches a spot on the right side of his head.
And then he turns and wraps his little arm tight around my neck, plants his cheek against my shoulder. His grip tightens when I move, so I stroke his back and sway and sing, echoes from my chest to his. I can feel a wheeze under my hand, and dampness on my shoulder.
He’s gone to sleep.
And so I move to a bench and sit, adjust his little body, cradle him, cup his cheek, rub his little flip-flopped feet. Someone told me that sometimes the children have scabies that affect their scalp, and I feel the weight of his head in the fold of my elbow.
For a brief moment I wish I were back home.
Just let me be Jesus.
And so I stay and love and listen to his wet snore and feel the wheeze. I pull his right arm from behind me, and he bends it, cups his own cheek, snuggles against my breast. I wonder about his story, and I imagine what kind of man he might grow into, if he’ll grow into a man, pray he serves God.
I carry him back to the house. A mama takes him from me. He wakes and she prepares to give him a cup of medicine.
I walk away in the dark. Back to our house where I sit at the table on the balcony, and drench the length of my arms, from fingertips to shoulder, with hand sanitizer.
Kd Sullivan says
There with you…wrap His arms around these little ones. His most powerful tools are the simplest. Max lucado
Megan Willome says
You gave us a story. Now we’re in.
Praying for you, Sandy.
Sheila Seiler Lagrand says
Yes, what Megan said. Thank you for taking us along. And God bless you for going.
Diana Trautwein says
Megan is right. But then, I was in even before the story. Now I’m there, holding a sick baby boy and spraying myself with disinfectant even as I pray for his future. Beautifully told, dear friend. May God protect and sharpen you as you work in obedience to his call.
Following your words. And loving you from Iowa, all the way to Haiti… xo
Duane Scott says
Oh… Love your heart.
Diane BAiley says
Alabama is with you as well. Wish I were with you, wiping down with sanitizer. Love you Sandra!
~ Patricia says
Love you so much, Sandra. What amazing love is surely flowing through you from the Father to His children at your feet and in your arms. Praying with and for you sweet sister.
Oh, Sandy. I have been praying for you–for them. Thanks for this–a small peep into where my prayers are going.
Oh my. The precious places our Savior will take us and break us. And you know, there was a time when I felt much like that young child–different circumstances, etc but I do know what it means to rest in the arms of Jesus and what it feels like to unburden myself in that place even if it’s only for a moment. I’ve never forgotten those moments and no matter where he goes, this boy won’t forget this moment either. It will always remain in that precious place of memory deep inside.
Carol J. Garvin says
Let the little children come…. So many wonderful seeds are sown in small acts of love. God is there with you, inching into places where his touch is needed, reaching out to them through you, Sandy.
What a wonderful thing it is you are doing. Today is a sad day here in the USA. How can anyone not love a child? I am glad I came by here today to hear something good….something of God. Thank you.
Michelle DeRusha says
Beautiful and honest, Sandy.