Friday, October 30, 2009

Another gone home...

A little baby died tonight… Gilderson. I noticed him the first day I got here but didn’t spent much time with him. Every time I went to get him to spend time with him I got distracted by a crying kid, and then Nickenson came in and took most of my free time. I don’t know why God protected my heart this way- I can’t count how many times I almost picked him up and took him to my room. He was doing extremely well (another reason why I took other kids before him to work with); he had come in severely malnourished but after being here for three months was doing amazing. Yesterday he got a high fever and today they sent him to the hospital, which sent him back. He died about 2 hours ago. Not an hour before I was holding his hand and singing with Nickenson in my lap… I watched as Lori prepared him for burial. That was a first for me… I wrote this just thinking about this boy specifically but also all the kids around the world who die or suffer from preventable or unknown causes.... some of it refers to Berlancia, Tex-naider, Sabrina, and the list goes on… Some of the descriptions are of kids who came in and we thought they’d die and they havn’t… like Nickenson.
The world he has lived in is nothing like mine. Love and grace- replaced by emptiness and fear. Hunger is a perpetual pain… every day’s a battle. His eyes are empty, no hope to show- what is hope? He doesn’t even long for the world I’m in. He’s never seen it, so it doesn’t exist. He doesn’t understand why I daze down at him, why I sing to him, why I do anything I can to get him to eat, and why I hold him close; he is still and won’t make movement, no life. Finally a glance my way, have I reached him? No… I moved my eyes and he didn’t follow. This child, can’t be more than a couple years old, what must he have gone through to be this way… his loose and wrinkled discolored skin, hangs over his bones; they jut out, revealing his fragile frame. His patchy hair is discolored and frail. In his palm, he clings to a lock of hair that he ripped off his head. His hands clenched tightly, reek of rotten skin. The cloth tied around his tiny waste slips off and exposes the yellow diarrhea he sits in daily. Why this child, why any child?
He cries out of discomfort when I touch him. His irritated squeal pleads for me to leave him be; his body stiffens, begging to be put down… but I refuse, I won’t give up, he’s captured my heart. I know there’s a soul in there somewhere. Behind the neglect, the hunger, the sadness… behind the empty stare, the emotion free face- I know there is a boy. I know with work, and help from God one day he could see that the world can be different, a place for love, for hope, for happiness, for learning. But my will to bring out that boy has come too late, and it must not have been part of God’s plan.
A harsh and empty world was all he knew; I held him for an insignificant amount of time- held him tight and prayed. That’s all I could give, that’s all time gave me. One more point awarded to the silent epidemic- an unfair battle, another life ended before it began. AIDS. Malnourishment. Abuse. Poverty. Burns. Neglect. Disease. Unknown. The endless list of preventable COD’s intimidates me. Is there even a chance for hope? His life became part of a growing statistic; yet through it all, I know God was there. Now he is in the perfect place, the place where there is nothing that can hurt him. In heaven I know he is that boy. A joyful, healthy, smiling, beautiful boy… he’s loved. But still my heart yearns for him back; a chance to give him what he never had. In a life here on earth, what could he have been? A man- honest and humble and true, I’ll never know. God’s timing is a constant struggle for me. Why then… why him? Yet truly believe through searching deep, every day’s hardship has some sort of silver lining- even if a rusted silver. With every child I’ve loved, comes a lesson to cherish- and he is no different. I’ll strive each day to do what I was made to do; to love and be a light unto others as best as I can- And leave God to the rest...

Life here is a roller coaster, and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I'm happy he's no longer in pain, and I'm so thankful for all the kids that RHFH has been able to save and give the world to. Whatever he died from could have easily killed him in the states too, we'll never know; but I do know that for 3 months this kid was loved, fed, and shown God's grace under the care of the staff here at the rescue center- praise God for that.

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