Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Human Moment.

As the group sat down with Catherine, I immediately noticed that we weren't alone.

It's the rainy season in Zambia, by the way, and green life is everywhere.  So everyone has all the mangoes they can eat.  They were delicious- but I bet after a while, even incredible mangoes off the tree get old.  And I also couldn't get over how bad they must be for these kids' teeth.

Back to our audience.  A big group of white people is big, big news here.  As we sat, the kids grabbed some benches so they could watch from a distance.

Of course I left the group to give them some attention.

But this is when it happened.  My human moment.  Actually I had 2.  The other is for another time and is completely unrelated.

I'm just going to be honest and open here. 

I met a lot of people in Africa, I shook a lot of hands, I toured the hospital, I walked through slums in the mud and rain- but this is the one time it got to me. 

They mobbed me.  They did not speak English- these kids are not in school.  And you could tell they don't leave their home often, and they're left alone with one another most of the time- very little adult guidance.

They pushed and shoved and aggressively fought for my attention, for the chance to pose for my camera.  They were so forceful, I had to use big hand gestures, and raise a "big voice" a few times, to get them to get back from my feet.  

They pushed one another out of the way, and I had to make it clear that's not how they'd get time with me.
They had 100 poses- and the young ones tried hard to smile per my example.  It was hard for them to get the hang of it.

They don't get their picture taken often.  Ever.  It was a big deal.

My heart loved these children, but in that moment, they were too dirty.  I didn't want to touch them (and I didn't touch them).  They startled me.
I encouraged them, I told them they were beautiful, I had fun with them- but to be very honest, I was a little afraid of them.

They were so forceful, and so dirty.  It was almost too much.

The pictures don't do it justice- and my explanations wouldn't benefit this post- but this was the one time my humanity got in the way of extending my hands in love.

But they were beautiful.  And my mother's heart just aches for these children to be anchored in love, to be encouraged and inspired, to be able to learn and grow and explore and to know with all they are that there is a God who made them, who sings over them, who has good plans for them.

I will not ever, ever forget them.

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