“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord!” –Job 1:21
A few weeks ago, I got to meet a sweet baby. We named him Samson.
I had heard that there was a baby sick in our maternity ward, having just grieved the loss of two children from our Miriam Center in the past month I didn’t have any intention of going down to the center.
My roommate had left our staff lounge about an hour before I did, I just assumed she went to bed early as she often does. I went to our room to find it empty. I began to search for her. Once you have a roommate sick and on an IV, you tend to worry that she is passed out somewhere because she hasn’t let you know, yet again, how she is feeling. I searched the roof, the lounge, the dorms, everywhere I could think of and to no avail I couldn’t find her. Then it hit me, she had to be with this sweet baby that we had heard was sick.
Sure enough there she was. I felt the emotional heaviness as I walked in the room. He was sick. As I consulted with the doctor and nurses, they said that he was barely breathing. His pulse was 40, and it normally should be at about 100 or 120. He was fading. We went and met with the mom, while my roomie held this precious child of God. We prayed with her and over her and we sang in Creole. We checked on him again, the nurse said that we would keep him on the breathing machine and IV to make him comfortable, but it would only be another few hours before he would be joining the Lord.
My heart ached with sorrow for this new mother as she was seventeen and had refused to even hold her precious boy. It is typical in Haitian culture for a mother not to hold her baby the first day or two that it is born, for fear of health concern. That the baby will die. The thought is heartbreaking. Across the room sat this young mother who had carried this child in her womb for nine months, gave him birth, and now was going to lose him and she never got to hold him. I wept as I prayed over this sweet child- I prayed that there could be a miracle. That God would choose to work a miracle in his life, but I also prayed that he would be made who and no longer in pain if that was God’s will. Less than two hours after I had held sweet Samson, Jesus chose a different kind of healing for him.
I am continually amazed how God allows me to grieve and rejoice in the same moment, how He allows me to continually love. I get to rest in knowing that sweet Samson is with my sweet Jesus.
Samson was only about 36 hours old, weighing just under five founds. I knew Samson for two of those thirty-six hours and somehow I was able to love him. To comfort and hold him, to pray over him and weep with him, I was able to love a sweet boy who barely had the strength to clench his tiny hand around my finger.
I wonder why God constantly allows me to love more and more each day. I am amazed at how my love abounds, like the massive ocean. I think of the way God loves and the people that He heals. The people that Jesus heals eventually get sick again and eventually join Him in heaven. God loved people enough to do everything in His power to make them better. Jesus’ miracles show of the depth of His love and He joins us in our suffering and loves us in those bedrooms, huts, valleys and mountaintops. He loves us right where we are.
As much as I would like to “save the world”, I realize that we aren’t called to do that. We are called to love, to love with abandon. We are called to love our neighbors, right where they are. Sometimes are neighbors are in Haiti or Kenya or Peru, sometimes they're on the East Coast, and sometimes their just that person literally next door, that person you just passed on the sidewalk. We are called to enter into each other’s suffering and to love them right there, right where they are. Maybe I did nothing but hug, love, and pray over Samson for a few hours longer. He now holds a piece of my heart, that is forever changed.
I rejoice in those two short hours I had with him. I am rejoicing because one day I will see him again and be able to tell him how he taught me to and allowed me to love just a little bit more that day.I pray that Samson now has touched your heart and has allowed you to love just a little bit more each day and to love each person you encounter