*I lived in China and worked at ND for a year. Paige went to be cradled in her Maker's arms barely a week
after I returned to the States.*
after I returned to the States.*
I received an email I had been dreading for the past year, an email with the subject line that read “In Memory.” I learned on Tuesday, that one of the baby girls at the Foster Home where I had worked had died. I spent the rest of the day in pain induced numbness. I could barely think, much less function. You see this precious little gift from above was very sick; it was just that she didn’t look it. She looked healthy, she was happy, she was beautiful and then suddenly, without warning she was gone. I barely knew her, I never got to hold her, but I did see her almost every day, and she was one of the babies that we all loved because they are ours, they have been entrusted to us and that means loving them unconditionally and fully.
It means putting our hearts on the line, because these children, despite their spunk and joy and smiles, are sick and many are walking miracles. Yet, I knew the risks. Yes, there were unbelievable miracles that had taken place and will still, but there was also pain. There were reminders all around the home of the gifts who were only here on earth for a short time. There was pain in the eyes of the volunteers and staff who had known the gifts that had been taken home earlier than we all wanted to see. There was an underlying knowledge that at any given moment something could go wrong, things had gone wrong, but miracles happened. Children survived what conventional wisdom said should have killed them. Despite the abundance of miracles, the knowledge remained that HE does not promise to save all; there is no guarantee that pain will never again enter the home.
I opened that email and read that a sick, but seemingly improving, little baby girl was never going to smile on this earth again. I still hurt, more than I truly expected. I can’t imagine the pain of those who knew her better. But the truth is she was worth it.This is the lesson that I learned while in China; pain from separations is an inevitable part of life on this planet the question is: are you willing to risk it for the joy of knowing true love?
I am still learning this lesson. Ever since my Grandma died while I was in high school, I go out of my way to shield myself from the pain that comes through loss. Even when preparing to go to China, I refused to read the “in memory” section of the New Day website, and I forbade myself from considering the pain that might come if such an event were to occur while I was there. When Hannah’s email came regarding Paige’s upcoming birthday, I subconsciously shied away from truly considering the implications of that date. I immediately agreed to help with the project but refused to dwell on Paige’s birthday. Until March 18th. Sunday morning, I broke down and cried, because with her birth date staring me in face every time I saw my phone or a calendar, I could no longer deny its significance. I cried over this precious one’s life, I felt the grief again in my heart, the grief that will never fully end. I know she is with her Father, that HE sings over her songs of love, adoration and peace, songs that she could never fully appreciate here, but I also know that I hurt over her too brief life. I loved her and still do.
I love Lydia and Tabitha and although we as humans cannot save everyone, one (or in this case two) lives can be saved. It might seem like a small number in such a vast sea of pain but to those lives, it is invaluable.
“I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me.”
This post was written by Jazz, Intern at NDFH September 2010- September 2011