Thursday, December 20, 2007
Through my work for Love Without Boundaries, I see pictures of orphaned children in China nearly every day. They are all so precious and since the children in my foster care program are all special needs, they each have overcome great odds to be where they are. Sometimes, though, there is one special child who grabs my heart and causes me to root just a little bit harder for him or her. Currently, that special little one is Nicholas.
Sweet little Nicholas is not yet a year old and he is not destined to live to be very old. He was born with a congenital heart problem that is so severe that it is inoperable. He is in palliative care through LWB and Hope Healing Home in Beijing.
I receive reports on the children every other month and each time, I eagerly open Nicholas' first. He is always smiling. This little boy has such a joy about him. He looks at me though his photo and I can almost imagine him winking at me. His adorable smile seems to say, "Look at me! I have been given another day and I will choose to spend it happily!" He doesn't let his heart condition hold him back from enjoying each day. He has much to complain about, but he chooses not to.
What an inspiration this little boy is to me! He did not have the privileges that I have been given....to be born to parents who had the means to care for him...to be born in a country that would have been able to pay for the health care he needed. He doesn't know what it feels like to take a breath without struggling for it, or what his skin would look like if it wasn't a deathly blue pallor. He will probably never have the strength to run and play like the other children. And yet, little Nicholas' life is so full of joy and purpose. His life speaks volumes to those around him as he teaches us to be thankful for our health, our families, and our material blessings. He teaches us to care for those who have no parents and those who have special needs. I have heard many people ask why a loving God would allow such suffering, but when I see the results, I can see that suffering is never capricious or purposeless. Each time I speak to someone who is assisting a child or person less fortunate, I can't help wondering who is being blessed more...the person being helped, or the person helping. The sparkle in the eyes of the helper, cements the belief that giving brings much more happiness than receiving. We are given the opportunity to live outside of ourselves and GIVE hope and support and I believe that God also gives extra peace and comfort to those who are suffering.
Thankfully, through foster care and a very dear woman who is willing to give her heart to orphans that are dying, little Nicholas DOES know what it feels like to have arms around him. He DOES know what it feels like to have someone love him.
Thank you, Nicholas, for letting your life be an example for the rest of us...for letting your shining eyes tell us of your great spirit and will to live joyfully in the face of incredible odds.