“These things are not easy to look at. We turn away with burning eyes, and only for the children’s sake could we ever look again.”
I remember the first time I had the wind knocked out of me. I was just a boy playing a game of backyard football when I was hit so hard in the stomach I lost my breath and couldn’t catch it again. I panicked at not being able to breathe, gasping for air but unable to take any in.
This week I had the wind knocked out of me. We just received news that the youngest child we have ever taken into our care was admitted to our Love146 Round Home in the Philippines.
She is a victim of child trafficking and incredibly cruel forms of exploitation. She turned 4 years old last month.
Are you still breathing?
We have been told that we must have some “thick skin” to deal with these kinds of issues every day. We don’t. We still have the wind knocked out of us. And rightly so.
Henri Nouwen wrote:
“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”
In other words… don’t thicken your skin. Keep it thin.
We received a picture of this newest tiny member of the Love146 family today. And the craziest thing? Her smile. Her absolutely radiant smile. Without words, she shouts resilience. Fight. Hope.
Today we are immersed. We feel fragile. We gasp for air. We continue to fight. We move forward. We hope. Just like the children we partner with.