Today marks the day when, 11 years ago, Toby and I brought our first child into the world. It was one of the best days of my life, being a part of this incredible thing: making a human being. As we walked out of the hospital a couple of days later, we looked at each other, both thinking: "Are they seriously gonna let us walk out of here with this kid? Don't they know we've never done this before??"
He is 11 today, and we'll soon be celebrating with some pizza and friends at the neighborhood pool.
This morning I sat in the Urgent Care office, waiting to have a strep test done, and while I waited, I scanned through an issue of National Geographic magazine, featuring articles and photographs on the global food crisis. Thirty-five MILLION people starving. Somehow the numbers fail to shock us very much. We hear impossibly large numbers referenced all the time and for me, at least, they become too large to mean anything.
But pictures speak loudly.
This picture of an Ethiopian woman in colorful wrapped fabric, her back to the camera. She is holding her infant, a months-old nursing infant, who has no fat at all, but instead transparent skin and expressionless face. A face that somehow looks like he has been alive a long time. Ribcage showing. A colorful bracelet on his tiny, emaciated wrist.
Not like my babies, who were smiling already and full-cheeked, wiggling energetically.
Right there in the waiting room, my heart came out of my chest. I mean...starve me, beat me, kill me...but please don't make me unable to feed my children.
Don't make me hear them cry and watch them look to me for help, and be unable to make it better or bring comfort.
She nurses her baby, tries to offer her body--the only thing she has--but her breasts are empty, because her own body is starving. She can't even offer her own body.
I was emotional, and I called Toby and wept, saying we must be able to do more. There must be more. It makes no sense to me.
It could have been me and my child. And the only reason I can stomach spending money on the things we spend money on here in America is because I'm not able to see her face and the child's face here in front of me all the time. So I forget for awhile.
It's a marvelous, breathtaking thing to be a part of--making a human.
Saving one who is already here...that, too, is a marvelous, breathtaking privilege.
Looking for ways...I have some ideas, and invite you all to share yours here. What efforts are out there that you really believe in or are excited about? What vehicle have you found that allows you the means to participate in God's healing of people in poverty?
love and peace,