"Intense love does not measure, it just gives."
- Mother Teresa
Driving to work in my car this morning, Sara Groves' "I Saw That I Saw" came on my iPod and when the lines, "Your pain has changed me. Your dreams inspire. Your face a memory," I found myself thinking about the orphans I met in Ukraine.
I can still see their faces, their smiles, and their tears.
Though most spoke no English and a few spoke a little, we somehow communicated during the time that we stayed in the boarding school with them. They would gather around me, to watch me draw and to request that I draw a picture for them, or we would play, or joke around and I loved whenever I could make them smile or laugh. They sought me out for more drawings or candy or to play. Some began to seek me out because I would give them a hug. They were precious, beautiful and broken miracles.
How many of them dreamed of a love most of us take for granted?
As I spent time with these kids, most around the ages of 10 to 12, I felt a profound change taking place within me and God was using these kids to cut me to my very soul. They would not leave me even nearly two years since we left there. They needed so desperately to be shown attention, a smile, affection, and, ultimately, love. I imagined how these kids would have responded to a Savior who would open his arms and say, "Let the little children come unto me." All hesitation would fall and they would run, as they did for me, to be by my side.
They wanted arms to embrace them and, it broke my heart, that I could only do so only momentarily. The words of Jesus saying that "such is the kingdom of God" rang with such truth and clarity as I spent time among these children and I prayed that I could in my own, small way show the love of Christ to them. I don't know what impact I made on them, but I do know the life changing impact they have had on me and not a day has passed that I do not think of and pray for them. I opened my heart to them and had it broken and made full at the same time.
I wish I could tell them that they have never left me, that I did not forget them, and never would. I wish I could have given them all a home where they would realize that love is not just a dream and to see the life and joy come into their eyes as they experience unconditional love for the very first time.
For now, all I can do is pray that there are others out there who can. Others who will ignore the fear and heed the call to fly half-way around the world to call a boy or a girl a "son" or "daughter."