Watching something amusing while I eat my dinner is how things go when I get home from work; I don’t want to think about the day, I just want to eat and tap into someone else’s crazy life for 30 minutes. Today, I made myself a sandwich and sat down to finish the poem I had started on the way home. It only took a minute to turn my dinner into a God encounter. In the few seconds I saw the news, (as I surfed the channels), I saw a little girl, about 7 years old, sitting on a stretcher in Haiti. The doctors were telling her mother that they would have to amputate one of the girl’s legs.
In split seconds, I saw the fear on the little girl’s face turn to a storm of cries as she reached for her mother and called for her; the girl’s mother had turned away to cry her own tears and hide her pain. The cries of the little girl crushed me…my heart was breaking; a part of me was being stripped away. This little girl and her family had already lost everything in the earthquake…at least that is what they thought; now this precious child faces the reality of losing her leg? I sat trying to taste my dinner and feel something other than the hurt and sadness that forced waves of tears from my own eyes. The report said up to 70 people a day were losing limbs…my heart continued to break. Lord, have mercy!
I prayed over and over for the grace of God to be present in the life of someone there to comfort those men and women; all the little boys and girls who will have the reminder of horror, devastation, and great pain for the rest of their lives. So many tragedies around the world! Lord, have mercy!
At the same time that I begged for the mercy of God in this little family, and all of the others, I was compelled to apologize. Not because I caused the suffering, but because even in my own life I have lost many important things and people in the past few years- even recently- and cried out to God wondering why he had forsaken me, “How long O Lord will you turn your ear from me?” I would cry. I had to say I’m sorry to the Lord, for making anything in my life, about me. Nothing is about me; not the pain, or suffering, or the loss. It’s all about God. I have a very meager existence, but I have never been seriously injured, lost a small appendage, a whole limb, or my life. God has kept me. I felt shame for thinking, for even one second, that my challenges were more than someone else’s. The conviction was clear. The question arose; what will I do with what I still have?
I don’t have answers for my sufferings, and I don’t have answers for the suffering of this little girl or the people of Haiti. All I know is that God sees beyond it all and knows there is more to our lives than what we are seeing right now. He is sparing this little girl’s life for something great. I know this because God has a Master Plan for each one of us, his Masterpieces. God sees beyond the anguish and the fear to where he wants her – you – even me.
I pray that God gives her strength to accept this challenge and that she finds herself propelled into greatness instead of consumed with grief. I pray that you also will accept your losses, and purpose in your hearts to do something amazing with what you still have. I have been moved to do likewise.
God bless you!