Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jesus in Disguise...

  Mother Teresa, once said “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved” and that “The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for."  Today....I saw the reality of that...up close and in a personal way.  And even though it was only a tiny moment of my day...that moment changed me...and broke me.  I am different.....and it's all because of one little boy who I'll probably never see again...
  For those of you who haven't been reading this blog for long or don't know me that personally, I work in a bookstore and am lucky enough to spend most of my days back in the children's department interacting and imparting the love of reading to the generation of the future (I love it)!  This morning I was back there, kind of bummed that not a single child showed up for story time (which we host once a week)...and in walked this young boy, looking just a little lost in a world full of books.  Now I have a tendency to get caught up in trying to get my work done, that I sometimes overlook the customer....but for some reason this boy caught my attention. So I walked over to him and struck up a conversation...
  Within the first few moments of talking, he shared with me that he was six years old and that he didn't know how to read, because there are 8 kids in his family and nobody really pays attention to him.  It was one of those moments when I almost wanted to clean out my ears to make sure I was hearing him correctly, but I knew just by looking into his eyes that every word was true!  How be 6 years old and feel like nobody notices you...that nobody has time for you...that nobody really cares!  I just kept thinking...he's the same age as Marissa (my littlest niece) and I couldn't imagine her not knowing how much I love her and how much I care for her!
  I wanted to cry right there....but instead I picked up the books I was going to read for story time and I read to him....and then we did art together....and I watched him smile... and listened to him joke!   Then just as quickly as he came into my life, he was summoned out by a woman who called him by name and demanded he come NOW...  And I watched him scurry off knowing I will probably never see him again!
 After they left...I couldn't seem to get him out of my mind.  I just kept playing the whole scene over and over in my head... feeling like Schindler at the end of "Schindler's List", that I could of done more!  I never know what to do in situations like that...when confronted with the uncomfortable, messiness of somebody else's life.  My immediate reaction is to want to fix somehow make it better or right.  But in that moment....there was no way I could do that.  I wanted more than anything to scoop him up in my arms and hug him while reading stories to him for the rest of the day....but I couldn't do that either!  All I could do...was be there in that him my full attention and loving him as best as I could...trusting that some how, some way he would feel the love of a stranger and it would make a difference.
  A little known fact about me is that I keep a folder of pictures of the children I met in Ecuador last summer, on my computer...and every week, at least once, I look through the pictures and pray over and cry for the little ones I met.  When it comes to the little 6 year old I met today, I don't have a picture to add to a folder on my computer...but his image has been engraved on my heart and I don't think I will soon forget about him.  I feel honored that today I met Jesus in disguise!

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