Yesterday I had a clinic day with the kiddos we’ve been working with. I wish you could be inside my head and see all the plans and hopes I have for these kids. BIG plans. BIG dreams. I want them to know how loved and precious they are to Jesus. I want them to FEEL loved. I want them to know that they have some people in the world who will go to bat for them, who will fight for them and who will encourage them. I want to teach them to read, to be educated and to make a difference in their country! I want them to KNOW JESUS!!! I want them to spend their lives being utterly amazed by His Grace and to pursue Him with everything they have. And I want them to love people. They are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable. They have no possessions and no “inner circle” of people who care about them the way a mother cares. But Jesus uses the weak and the broken to minister to His people and I want them to GET THAT!!!
So many dreams. So many desires for these precious kiddos. And it plays out so well in my head! It’s embarrassing to admit, but with my rose colored glasses fully intact I was envisioning myself as a younger, more robust…..Mother Teresa. “Take that Malaria!!! You shall not have this precious child because I will vanquish you with my Artusunate Combined Therapy and Healing Touch!!” I will lovingly stroke every fevered brow while inspiring a deep devotion to Christ as they sense his Love through said Healing Touch. And to be honest, the first few clinic days it felt like that!! Malaria be gone!! Scabies, you’re outta here!!”
But then we went yesterday.
And it was hot.
And the kids crowded around me so tightly I thought I was going to vomit.
And I made the rookie mistake of asking who wasn’t feeling good and got 90% of the hands raised.
And the malaria is still there even though in my mind it be miraculously cured by the new bed nets we gave them.
And that stubborn rash is still there and I’m not sure what else to do for it.
And I had a conversation that went like this:
Kid: Auntie, give me your sunglasses.
Me: No, I’m using them right now.
Kid: Give me your sunglasses!!
Me: Um, no.
Kid: You promised me you’d give me your sunglasses!
Me: What?! I did not!
Kid: Yes you did! Give them to me.
Kid: Ok, give me an egg.
As I poked what seemed like the 100th kid to check them for malaria, the thought crossed my mind that “this isn’t quite the romantic scene I’d envisioned.” It’s like the malaria and stubborn rashes don’t even know about my Healing Touch!! This is getting kind of monotonous. Malaria, malaria, rash, malaria, abscess, malaria, malaria.
But as I put another bandaid on another foot I realized (again….for surely I’ve learned this lesson before and just forgotten) that this is real life. This is real ministry. There will probably be moments of pure bliss and excitement, but those will be well hidden among a thousand moments of day to day faithfulness. Monotony. Faithful in the little things. Faithfully and tenderly treating tummy aches and headaches and every other ache that kids can come up with.
Lord, help me to be faithful in the little things. Help me to faithfully love these little ones, not just when it is convenient or feels good, but daily. Faithfully. I want to be compassionate because You are so full of compassion. And when my compassion fails, help me to love these kids because I love YOU and YOU love these kids. And when I don’t FEEL loving toward You, help me to faithfully love these kids out of obedience to You.
One day at a time.