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Little Hands

He holds the little hands better than I can.  The hard thing about short-term missions is that they never feel like enough time.  The shy laughs and silly dances combined with all the yearning hugs just spelled out love.  Seeing all the dusty faces and wanting to take them all home and protect them was a major heart struggle for me.  Nevertheless, God calls us to break our hearts for the things that break his.  Despite how many smooches I want to put on the baby’s heads or games of patty cake I can possibly play, eventually that time of tangibly loving expires.  Eventually you have to let go and give heartache over to faith and know that because God spoke creation into existence and called us his beloved, he will love his children well; even when I cannot witness it firsthand.  I just wanted to sit and hold the hands of every kid in the slums and tell them that I love them, that they mean the world to me, and that they are seen.  But despite all the laughs I got the privilege of witnessing and tummies I got to tickle, a part me felt like it wasn’t enough.  God made us in his perfect image, but as humans, we harbor flawed emotions.  So sometimes, it won’t feel like enough.  Parting with the kids who know no concept of love broke my heart.  Leaving the slums wrecked me in a way that I was not prepared for, but at the end of the day, my love is not what suffices.  His love does.  He holds the little hands better than I can.

                When all the songs and games faded away, I called out to the Lord for a response to my hurting and he gave me a verse.  “Take heart, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33) was what he gave me to find peace in leaving.  I was reminded that the same love I was shown by Abba is also placed upon the children I met.  He covers them in grace, protection, and called them by name before they were knit in their mother’s womb.  When it is all said and done, I had to be obedient to the Lord telling me it was time to go; to find rest in his perfect plan and perfect timing.  Jesus calls us to “take heart” because he said “it is finished” on the cross and gave an avenue to the father’s love for all human kind.  He has overcome the world, for now and until the end of time.  He has and continues to overcome oppression, poverty, and all sin in the world.  He is a detail oriented God that is concerned with all of his children, and because of that, he placed that peace in my mind.  It was good to be reminded that it is not about what I can do.  That I am here to run the race, to plant the seeds, and to love with abandon – even when covered in baby poop.

                The one who created all those little hands that I desperately wanted to hold, knows them all better than I ever could.  Thank God for that perfect love.  I am so excited to wait with expectancy for the day I get to meet all those kiddos in heaven.  He knows all the circumstances and catches every tear, and because the same God that made me, made them, I can take heart and continue to love like Jesus.  I can take heart, because he holds the little hands better than I ever can. 

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