10 December 2014
I received another pain stricken e-mail this morning. Another infant dead. One to add to the list of children that I had already been grieving.
Was I even justified in mourning the loss of children I hadn’t known? Of little ones whose families hadn’t been my own, but who had been living under the roof of my dear friends for the past several months?
Each breath was a battle. Breathe in, breathe out – these little, rapid movements were taking over their entire bodies.
They told me that when they held her up to the light, they could see through her tiny body covered in a thin layer of translucent skin.
Who was God in these moments? Who was God when babes suffered and infants died? Who was God in these moments?
I had been in bed when I received the news. The chickungunya that had plagued my frail body had left me unable to get out of bed, let alone deliver babies in those weeks. She walked by my bed stealthily, as if she didn’t want me to know of her presence. I asked her how she was; I knew this girl well, having lived with her for over a month, yet I couldn’t put my finger on what was bothering her.
“Elda, ki sa te fe?”
Nothing, she quickly whispered. Nothing had happened. I knew better.
“Dada, di mwen.”
She paused. “Yon gason te mouri.”
A baby boy had died. I hadn’t been there, in the clinic, when the child was born dead, but the pain hit me still. I wept. My body was too weak to get up and go see the family, so I laid there ill, praying that the God that I knew could heal broken hearts, would carry mine and heal those of the family.
3 February 2015
Today I received another heart-stinging message. My dear friend, Bailey gave me the news that baby Sherry is dead. She died this morning in heart surgery.
We had rallied around this child. Bailey had campaigned for her surgery; we all, as the body of the Lamb, came together and prayed over this one. We prayed and we gave money, and it was a miracle. She, a child of a pastor in Ghana, was going to have heart surgery. She was going to be healed. She was a miracle. Then she died. In the middle of the very thing that was to save her.
Who is God in these moments? Who is God when babes suffer and infants die? Who is God in these moments?
I wept. I read the text on my phone as I left the Founder's Week session this morning, and tears started falling down my face. One by one, I wiped them off and asked God to let this bring intimacy. I felt His peace and I somehow made it back to my dorm without crying another tear. Then I fell on the ground and knelt before the One whose love is constant, and I wept. I wept over this child. I wept over her family. I wept over Bailey because I know the helplessness felt and the pain that we don't feel is justifiable. She wasn't our child. She wasn't even "related" to us. And I wept because I do not want this to be wasted.
My God is good - here. This pain brings intimacy with the Father who loves us and loves that baby more than human comprehension can contain. This is not to be wasted. I will weep because I know the great loss that this family is enduring. I will weep because I know the Father's heart is broken too. I will weep because my adopted mother, Carol Ann, once told me that it is a sad thing if you cannot weep in front of your Savior. Ask the Lord to take out the bitter wall that is telling you that you are too strong to weep over a child you did not know.
More than anything, I will taste His goodness here.
He is good. His character is unchanging.
Please pray for Sherry's family, friends, and community. Pray for Bailey and the other hurting missionaries in Ghana.