Friday, December 12, 2008

Flowers

Come, see real
flowers
of this painful world.

-Basho

Some people like Milton or Chaucer, but the poem form that speaks to me is Haiku. It might be an attention-span-thing.

Today, I walked with my 6 year old son, Caleb, through the World Vision Experience: AIDS exhibit. It was masterfully done, like you are stepping into Africa, and we both listened on the same Ipod to the story of Emmanuel, who was orphaned at age 4 by AIDS. You get to experience Emmanuel's story, which culminates in a clinic where you find out whether you test positive or negative to HIV.

Caleb was wide eyed, but not terrified. He gripped my hand firmly, but not desperately. At the end of the guided tour, the narration instructs you to pick up a photo of a child to pray for. Caleb grabbed a photo, placed it between his hands folded in prayer, and squeezed his eyes tightly shut. He prayed fiercely on behalf of this child...and suddenly I began to cry. It was my son's unbridled faith that really got to me. With the complete assurance that God loves kids, Caleb petitioned God on behalf of a little boy from Rwanda. The fragrance of a six year old, praying with determination for a 4 year old orphan, was overwhelmingly lovely.

Yes, this is a painful world.
Yes, the tragic is all around.
But that's not the story.
The story is that, for those with eyes to see, there are real flowers here as well.

Caleb, through World Vision, now sponsors Emmanuel, who shares a name with the boy whose story we heard. My daughter Alex also now sponsors a child.

Today, I simply recognize...
that God has given me two real flowers...
bringing the aroma of His love...
into this painful world.

4 comments:

Renee said...

Enjoyed this heartfelt read! I recall when my flower Aaron was 4. He put a package of Top Ramen in the mail to send to the poor people & then @ 6 gave all his pennies to a friend who needed $. When my kids were small I gave them a certificate to write on of what they would give to Jesus that year for Christmas. My other flower Lara is a private but lavish heartfelt giver. Giving instead of getting must always be the emphasis to keep us from selfishness. Look forward to seeing the project soon!

paulausserer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy said...

I did the same with Isaac today, we also went through Emmanuel's story. I was crying by the 3rd curtain! Isaac really took that all in, and really felt the connection. He now sponsors a boy named Paul, who is 4 years old also. Lizzy came too and we all wished we could walk out with every photo. We did look at nearly every photo and say a little prayer for all of them. It was very powerful.

Amanda Marie said...

it was powerful indeed. i sponsor my child in a heavily aids infected area of Kenya and i pray ceaselessly on his behalf...


it is moments like these that really get into your heart and work things...