One story that I still have trouble sharing is of a family that we first met while walking the countryside around where we set up our “Mango Medical” clinic. We stopped by a cluster of huts that were owned by a proud father of two sets of twins as well as another child. He joyfully showed us around his little piece of land as his naked children stood and stared, probably due to the fact that they had never been face to face with “blancs.” These were the first children I saw that definitely showed the physical effects of malnutrition and starvation. Their bellies protruded due to lack of nutrients or more than likely worms in their stomachs. I asked the father if I could snap a picture, he graciously allowed me to…
The next day, he and his wife stopped by the clinic with the two youngest twins, one boy and one girl. While the father was waiting to be seen, I glanced over at him and watched how he lovingly held his sleeping child while taking her hand as he gently rubbed tiny fingers through his beard and past his lips. I was stuck staring. The moment was so beautiful and sacred that I knew no picture would capture it fully, or I simply was so caught up in watching that I forgot a camera hung there around my neck.
Thinking back on this image in my mind, it makes me realize how terrible and wretched sin is. It goes beyond us having arguments with spouses or friends. It’s deeper than the fact that I rarely feel totally happy with everything I have and am always wanting more. The horror of sin is that this loving father, no how matter how hard he works, or what he does, is on an impoverished island in a broken world. Chances are, he will never have enough food to keep his childrens’ stomachs from bulging out, while many, far too many people (including me) in this world live in overabundance. This is his life, his world, his everyday. Broken.
I hate it. It makes me angry at someone, or something, but I can’t put my finger on it. It makes me hurt inside. When the Bible talks about the last being first, I think of this father. I don’t know what Heaven will look like with the last being first, but this man will be up there for sure, and I for one will have no problem letting him go in front of me. God knows he deserves it more than I ever will.