I recently began fostering a little boy named Hassan. Upon introducing him to unfamiliar faces, many people inquire about the large scar on his forehead.
“Where did he get that scar” they ask.
Reminiscing about the day Hassan fell 6 feet and cracked open his forehead and his miraculous recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury, Depressed Frontal Lobe Injury, and Concussion never fails to send shivers of scary and beautiful memories down my spine. I’ll never forget that moment at the orphanage when the little boys came running, screaming the words ‘Hassan has fallen. Hassan is dying.’
Looking back now I see how his scar tells a beautiful story of trauma, pain and ultimate healing, but rewind to that moment over 3 years ago, I wanted to wish it away.
Fast forward to three years from then…
I see the pain, trauma, and challenges these families experience providing for their child with a disability. Many of them ask me, “Why did God create my child like this?”
Many mothers break down and express how even if they had money to put food in their child’s belly, their child is not able to even eat the food because of their disability. And even if they had money for school fees, their child can’t walk to get there.
At times, I struggle explaining God’s Perfect design to these families. I’m left tongue tied. What words can suffice to bring hope into their shattered hearts.
Yesterday when Hassan and I were reminiscing about the children with disabilities we use to live with at the orphanage, I asked him.
‘Hassan, why did God create those special children?’ Without a moment of hesitation, Hassan replied,
“God created those special children, so that we can take care of them.”
Spoken from an 8-year old, I thought ‘wow, that is one pretty powerful thought!’
Yes! I wished I had a magic wand to whisk away the challenges these families endure. But, what if I did, would we all learn the true meaning of compassion, mercy and selfless love in the same capacity?
Sooner or later, I believe everyone of us will be called to face weakness, illness, unknowns, heartbreak, and deep pain. These limitations are simply a part of being human.
Over here in Uganda there is this notion that people with a disabilities cannot be happy, since they are not able to engage in the typical lifestyle of school, work and pleasure. They are seen as a burden in their families life. So these children are hidden away, isolated, rejected and abandoned.
However, I know the world will not become a better place because physically “perfect” people walk this earth. It will only be better when love, unity and collaboration helps to bring about the ultimate good for others.
Its a crazy dream, but I hope these families will one day see how their children are ‘imperfectly perfect.’ By providing these families with much needed resources, support and encouragement, I hope beyond hope they will “mpola mpola” (Luganda translation meaning slowly by slowly :)) begin to accept their child with loving arms into their family, around their pot of rice and beans and into their hearts.
When Hassan had fallen and I saw the blood gushing forth from his forehead and heard his cries of pain, I wished for the outcome in that present moment. I wished someone could have told me that Hassan would survive. My impatient heart still applies to this mission.
However, I rest in total certainty that despite the unknowns of this life, we all can find peace even amongst sickness. Joy even in tears. And serenity even amongst loneliness. Miracles exist. I’m so ready to see God do it again for these families.