Konu, she whispered to me, hardly believing that her little broken boy was learning to smile like all the rest of them. A smile. She grabbed my hand and held it tight, gazing at her son who lay on the bed in a pile of blankets, kicking his legs contentedly. She let go after a while, and started to pack her things.
And so, once again, life comes full circle. The little baby who met us on the dock when we arrived (see his tiny little legs?) was back out there today, resting in my arms again. Only this time, he didn't feel like he was going to float away. This time, I noticed the weight of him, felt his soft, round cheek squished against my arm and the rolls of his legs in my hands. This time, instead of a lip split wide, his nose sits atop a perfect, unbroken line.
His mama climbed into the car first and turned immediately, holding out her arms for her baby, her face alight with the promise of new life. I relinquished Francois willingly into those arms because I knew that her heart was as new as her joy.
Just a few days ago, the nurse asked a question of the mama who had tried to leave her baby boy in an orphanage, afraid of his split lip, afraid that she couldn't live with a broken baby. What will you do, she asked. What will you do when you go home? And Pirette, her smile small, revealed that life had won, that hope had finally found a place in her heart.
I want to take him home.
In this season of Lent, I think that mama's words are so much more profound than she will ever know. Isn't that exactly what God said to all of us over two thousand years ago? Isn't that what held our Saviour to the cross while thousands of angels waited with bated breath for Him to ask for it to stop? I sit here, centuries after the fact, and in a mama's words I hear God speak to my heart and it's a revelation all over again.
I want to take you home. I will risk everything to do it. I don't care that you're still a little bit broken. See? I have started to mend you. I have started to make you whole, and I won't stop until you're perfect. I just want to take you home.
Pirette and Francois will come back at the end of the outreach for Francois to have his final surgery, the one to close the hole in the roof of his mouth, the surgery that will finally make him whole again. And until that day and for the rest of her life, that mama will love him with a love that has won out over death.
There's no way I can fathom how much more my Papa loves me.