Hope and Healing

A funny thing to notice…

April 06, 2011General

It’s been awhile since my last post. I’m sorry. It’s been incredibly busy with travel and a family funeral. I’ll try to catch up.

Two weeks ago I was in Zambia. Amidst the rich experiences of meeting mothers and fathers who are supporting children with disabilities, one small incident stands out. Let me begin a bit back…. 

First – it was so good to meet fathers. Unfortunately often I only meet mothers or grandmothers taking care of children. Fathers are sometimes out of the picture. Thus, in two families we met, where the fathers were not only part of the family but the children came alive with joy when they saw them, it’s beautiful! To see the love in the family gives everyone a bit more hope.

One of the boys we met was 8 years old. He had CP. He spends most of his day lying on his stomach. When I met him he was on his mother’s lap, and I sat down on the ground next to them and said “hello, how are you” – not expecting any answer. I was surprised to hear – in English – a perfect “fine, thank you!” That should not have made a difference to me, but it did. Maybe I’ll reflect on that sometime later in a blog. For now it is simply a confession.

What I noticed was when we put him in a wheelchair and wheeled him into the “yard” and continued to talk to him, a fly landed on his head. You could tell this bothered him and he began to move his arm to shoo it away. His uncooperative body did not let him. He couldn’t get that fly off of his head – he couldn’t get his hand close enough. We did help him with that – but I had never thought of that before. What does he do when he has an itch? How many flies does he have to tolerate on his head in a day in that hot Zambian climate?

It was a funny thing to notice.