My Latest Email Newsletter… “Broken Glass”

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 in Faith | 69 comments

Dear Readers:  This is a copy of my latest email newsletter.  If you are not on my email contact list and would like to be, please enter your information at the top of the right margin.  I send a newsletter about every two to three months.  Thank you for reading–God’s richest blessings on your day!

Dear Friends and Family,

My heartfelt thanks to those who prayed for my time in Africa–and especially for Emmanuel!  Your prayers were answered in bountiful ways!  Before I went, I believed God was taking me halfway around the world to witness the transformation of a baby boy.  Now home and reflecting back, I think my heavenly Father had in mind another life He wanted to change.

Emmanuel is doing great!  Already two months post-surgery, the bandages on his hands and cast on his leg have been removed.  Emmanuel’s surgeon has personally let me know of the excellent prognosis.  This darling little boy will now grow up able to walk and run on two legs and enjoy the use of both hands.  Thanks to God and a four-part surgery at CURE International in Kenya, 10-month-old Emmanuel has been given new life!

But Emmanuel is only one of the children who touched my heart, innocently transforming my life.  Mirriam and Abigael, Lincy and Winsome, Gideon and Titus, Callister and Phoebe.  Precious children of God whom I’m blessed to call friends, and whom I dearly miss!  For a week of my life, CURE’s hospital was my second home.  Within its walls I found Love and Joy.  Helping children read in English the Gospel of John, hearing their giggles as they played with my hair, holding their hands and praying for them before they underwent surgery… these are just a few memories I will cherish forever.

But I wouldn’t be giving a full picture if I didn’t also share a “darkness” I gradually discovered.  When I happily visited children in the Patients’ Ward, I was given glimpses of a “sadness.”  It wasn’t until my last day at the hospital–when I met with CURE Kenya’s Spiritual Team–that I learned and finally understood what I’d been sensing throughout the week.  The children aren’t the only ones who need healing… a broken heart may not be as visible as club feet or an amputated leg, but it’s just as real and important to fix.

Especially with everything I’ve endured as a mom, how did I not see this sooner?  The “darkness” of bruised and battered hearts was inside the mothers of the children.

In Kenya, like many Third World countries, when a baby is born with deformities, the child is often viewed as cursed.  “Somebody must have sinned” is the common belief, and because the mother carried the child in her womb, she is the one usually blamed.  Instead of being showered with gifts of kindness, this mother receives merciless judgment and one of the cruelest sentences:  rejection–from “friends,” extended family, even her own husband.  Those she thought loved her leave her… with a baby who has very special needs.

Now it made sense:  the faces void of expression, the eyes empty of light.  Only God knows the emotional and spiritual suffering these moms in the Patients’ Ward had endured… most likely not weeks or months but YEARS of pain and sorrow, loneliness and despair.  But the good news is that now they were sitting inside a CURE hospital–a building whose spiritual foundation is God’s redeeming love, and a ministry tailored after the way Jesus lived on this earth, healing bodies and restoring lives.

“‘I am with you and will save you,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 30:11).  A broken heart is where healing begins.

I realized why every time I’d visited the Patients’ Ward there’d been a member of the Spiritual Team interacting with the moms–and some dads… why every day at 4 o’clock the pastors led a Bible study for the parents… why every Friday morning a support group was held for mothers who’d been so painfully rejected.  “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).  I was seeing Christ’s love in action–broken hearts were getting fixed!

When I was pregnant with my fifth child Ben who had conditions “incompatible with life,” I felt physically carried in the palm of God’s hand.  For months after Ben’s death, that feeling continued.  I’ve always believed God carried me because my heart was so broken… because I didn’t have strength on my own.  Jesus‘ words:  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness” became living and breathing to me, and I felt peaceful assurance God would hold and carry me as long as necessary (2 Corinthians 12:9).

At CURE’s hospital, too, I sensed being carried by God’s love from one room to another, from one “divine appointment” to the next.  I wonder if that’s because there were so many broken hearts under one roof–so much “weakness” where His power could be made PERFECT.  It’s as if a river of “living water” was gently flowing through the hospital, soothing and renewing hearts, minds, bodies and souls (John 4:10).  His grace is enough.

In my own healing journey, a friend once gave me a candleholder made from broken glass.  As she lit the candle inside, we watched its light reflect through the broken pieces in unique ways–I daresay even more beautiful ways than if the glass had never been broken.

No matter how we’ve been shattered, beauty can shine through.  We need only remember Jesus’ words:  “Put your trust in the light….” (John 12:36).

Many blessings,

Laurie

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