I went out to the HOPE center today to hang out with patients and met a beautiful little girl. She and I just chatted back and forth a bit, I learned her name and age and how many siblings she had, and told her who I was. Another Mercy Shipper came over to join us, one that knew a bit of her history, and I came to find out she has already had a consultation with us and her case is being evaluated, but doesn't look good. Now she’s just waiting to find out if we can fix her broken face.
Then she looked me straight in the eye and pleaded with me, Please don’t forget me. Please don’t forget my case, please help me. Every day it’s always the same thing and it hurts me when I’m sleeping and when I’m awake. Please don’t forget about me.
I felt my heart break, right then and there. I wished I didn’t speak French. I wished we could go back to chatting about her little brothers. I wished I could hold her tight and tell her with all certainty that yes of course we could help and we would and everything would be okay and she could live the normal life she dreamed of living… that her dreams for her future really could come true.
I took a deep breath, translated her words to my colleague, and quickly turned my face away from them into the afternoon breeze… no amount of clenching my jaw and holding my breath would stop the tears from stinging in my eyes and eventually rolling down my cheeks.
A bit later as we were driving home and again I was unable to control the tears, a battle raged in my head. One side was thinking pull it together! You’re fine! Suck it up, STOP IT!... and I was surprised by the intensity of the physical pain I was feeling for this little one.
And then the still small voice whispered It’s okay. My heart is breaking too.
And I remembered that song that I’ve sung hundreds of times that has the line in it –
Break my heart for what breaks Yours*.
And this is it.
My heart was not the only one breaking, God’s heart breaks with mine. We were not created for this… we were meant to enjoy paradise in Eden free of pain and tears and broken faces. And I’m glad it hurts - because I don’t ever want my heart to become hard towards the people I’m here to help and the suffering and pain and broken faces in the world.
And once again I am glad I can feel… because that means I am alive. And I will still find the joy and celebrate life, even in the broken moments.
I also believe in a God that still performs miracles, and that the power that we are celebrating today in His resurrection from the dead rests upon each one of us that call on His name. Please pray for this precious little one, that what can’t be healed by the hand of man will be healed by the loving touch of the Father.
*Hosanna by Hillsong United