Loving the Wounded Children

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I find myself sitting under a blanket of stars on a Guatemalan tropical cool night, a girl six years old finally finds rest in my arms. My heart is beating more slowly now and I am beginning to relax again. Minutes before this sweet child, so beautiful and serene was out of control. Hitting anyone around her, screaming and completely inconsolable. Before she was able to hurt herself or one of the other children in the children’s home I gathered her writhing body in my arms and calmly said,

“I will not hurt you, I will protect you. Let’s go outside for some fresh air.”

She continued screaming, “¡Quiero estar sola! Déjame ir!”

(I want to be alone! Let me go!) She hid behind her hair and put her tiny hands over her face to protect herself.  I knew if I put her down in this state of rage she would hurt herself. I prayed a silent prayer to God, the true source of peace and strength and calmly yet boldly walked outside.  

 The cool night welcomed us. The moon shone bright over head and I sat down, with her limp resigned body heavy in my arms. I tried to calm my tense body through breathing deeply and she pressed her face against my chest to find another place to hide. I let her connect with me. Heart to heart. Our breathing synchronized like a mother and her nursing child. My silent prayers reached toward heaven and I felt love wash over us. As I rocked this child in my arms, my mind drifted to all the pain she had experienced in her young life. Domestic violence, poverty, neglect. Each scene played through my mind like a nightmare. I pressed pause, and prayed that the nightmare would end.

I carefully swept her sweaty hair from her face and looked at her. She was perfect. Her coffee cream skin shone in the moonlight. Her cheeks full and sweet. Her fluttering eyelids so peaceful. My heart expanded and welcomed this child in. I thank God that even though her mother and father have left her because of their broken hearts and lives that He would never leave her. God wants to spend time with this wounded child and I was the instrument He used to hold her in his arms and calm her fears.

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