I had yet another amazing conversation with my little 4 year old, Ayantu Faith.
The other night, I walked into our room just as Jackie and Antu finished reading a story from her Jesus storybook bible. As I knelt down by our bed to spend a moment with her, she said “daddy, I want to tell you something…” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that line, followed by all kinds of either questions, stories, thoughts, etc. Little did I know, she was going to move me to tears and a deeper thankfulness for her and our Lord.
Antu continued, “…daddy, my mom and dad left me…” she paused for a second and looked like she was going to rephrase her words. I wasn’t quite sure what she was saying, and was ready to respond with, “no we didn’t, we are right here.” But before I could say something, Antu was talking again, “daddy, my mom and dad left me…and that’s when the police found me and brought me to my nannies at the orphanage. They took care of me until you and momma came and got me.”
Jackie and I often talk about when the appropriate age would be, to tell Antu her complete story, but apparently she’s got it mostly figured out. She has talked about her nanny before and how we are in an orphanage just like the one she was in. In fact, yesterday while we were in the dining hall, she said, “you know dada, this orphanage is different then my orphanage I lived in.” She then proceeded to point out all the things that were different (as if she really remembers). However i’ve never heard her talk about how her mom and dad left her. I didn’t need to hear anything else for the tears to start flowing. I immediately hugged and squeezed her tight, telling her how much I love her and how thankful I am that she is our daughter!
I think part of the reason I was so emotional was because I can’t believe someone would abandon this precious girl. How in the world could someone leave a 2 day old baby, naked, alone, on a dusty dirt road. And then I started thinking of the boys in the other room, who too have experienced abandonment. All three of them don’t have fathers, Erasmo’s mother forsook he and his siblings and little Luis is truly an orphan, not having any family. I don’t understand it!
Well, actually, I do understand it. We live in a fallen, broken, sinful, hurting world. And apart from a relationship with Jesus, people do the craziest things.
Every year, we celebrate and remember the greatest sacrifice and gift the world has ever received. Around Easter, we spend time remembering Jesus’ brutal death on the cross, the day He took ALL the broken, fallen, sinful, hurts of this world upon Himself to cleanse and change our lives forever. The day that our Savior remembered all those who have, are, and will be abandoned or neglected, and He engraved us on the palms of His bloody hands! The day that TRUE LOVE died…that He might be raised again, as we will celebrate and remember every Easter.
“Can a nursing woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have enraged you on the palms of my hands…” (Isaiah 49:15-16).
I pray that the Lord uses this reminder to minister to your heart in a new and fresh way, as you think on our Lord, engraving you on the palms of His hands!