My naïve mind cannot fully comprehend why you, an innocent energetic child, have been allowed so much pain; if I could, in a heartbeat I would take your pain on myself because it kills me to see you like this. My heart breaks for the times of normal childhood you have missed out on and can never get back- times I have so taken for granted. You, my little neighbor friend are a courageous little man with unending potential and a passion worth fighting for. I don’t know why God allows such pain but I can tell you, my friend, from experience that this is the most life-changing experience you may ever receive; let the pain mold you into a valiant warrior by the God of the Universe who wants more for you than you could ever begin to imagine.
Love is what keeps my fragile heart beating- as I volunteer at ACH, the only reason I can find the strength to stand and move past the incomprehensible pain placed on such innocent and undeserving children is because of love-- I know that my God allows pain to draw us nearer to Him and to be molded into the creation He had in mind when He formed each and every individual, which is more beautiful than this world will ever know. As I held this child, severe burns covering her fragile and helpless body, my eyes fought back tears to see the relentless cruelty of this world on such undeserving children. The reason I could play with her for hours each Wednesday, without falling to my knees was because my heart was beating for the one chance I had to show an innocent and fragile child hated beyond comprehension a love she had never been given a chance to receive. As I helped her get dressed, wincing at the pain so obviously apparent on her severely wounded and compromised body, the only reason I could find the strength to stand was because of the passion God had placed in my heart, living within me. My heart absolutely shattered as I watched her struggle so intensely to move just a few inches due to the third degree burns, yet God put the pieces of my heart back together each and every time as I earned her trust and saw her smile for the very first time; to see a child wounded by her very own blood, untrusting to everyone she came in contact with due to expecting hatred after that’s all she had ever known crushed my soul yet God revived me each and every time to show her a love she’d never known—something so simple as a smile and my very own self. Each and every day, by the power of love, she began to drop her many defenses and was able to laugh and experience childhood for the first time. The power of love is underestimated; I truly believe it has the power and capacity to change the world.
To see my very own neighbor, younger than five years of age, change from beyond energetic and full of life to unable to move without vomiting and bruises covering his fragile and severely compromised body absolutely shatters my undeservingly privileged heart. I so wish I could take on your pain, “my little monster”, because it is not fair. To see you receive treatment after treatment, with sharp needles piercing your fragile skin time and time again giving you nutrients your body cannot produce but so vitally needs is more than I can comprehend; to see how lifeless and utterly miserable each treatment leaves you breaks my heart and penetrates to my soul. It breaks my heart that you too have become so accustomed to pain that it becomes a part of your normal microbiota; this is not how life was intended to look yet its reality. I will do whatever I can to help you through this pain because I know it will not last forever, my friend; keep fighting alongside the mightiest Warrior whose very name makes the demons flee. Stand in the rain until you discover the rainbow beyond the horizon; it cannot rain forever, no matter how dreary and hopeless the sky may appear.
On Saturday I am so privileged and excited to join the ACH volunteers, of whose hearts are more beautiful than description, in a banquet honoring our service. Somehow I’ve racked up over 250 hours of service; truly, it seems like only mere seconds as if given the chance I would spend my whole life there, surrounded by the atmosphere of vulnerability and REAL people with REAL struggles they’re not too ashamed to hide nor to admit that they do not have all of the answers; the atmosphere of pure and true love. I can only hope I’ve added to this atmosphere of which used to possess the power to make my knees tremble and banish every last speck of hope. The reason I volunteer is not to be known but merely the opposite- to serve in humbleness beyond my capability. I don’t want fame or fortune but merely want to change the world and am going to start by LOVE- the opposite of this fallen and cruel world.