Wednesday, March 7, 2012

bearing one another's burdens...

imagine that you take your one-year-old child to the doctor and the diagnosis is a big scary word that you can't pronounce...
ventricular septal defect {more commonly known as a hole in the heart}

imagine that you try all treatments at your disposal only to learn five years later that the condition has worsened.

imagine that the doctors report that your child's heart is working at a rate 2-3 times faster than a normal heart and that it will not be able to keep up this pace forever.  your child is at risk for heart failure...at any time.

imagine that there are no doctors in your town - or even your country - who can do anything to help your child...he must be treated elsewhere.

imagine that you are faced with the reality that your 6 year old son my die of a heart defect and the only way for you to save him is to find $23,000 to fly him to india to be treated.

imagine that you are looking at that dollar amount as you sit in your home made of mud and rocks knowing that the fritters you sell each day and the meager income that your husband makes could never come close to being enough.
this is how fatao's mother must have felt...when she heard the news of her son...the one who loves to play soccer and dreams of being a mechanic like his big brother.  the one whose heart may not last through many more games.

as i sit here in my two-story house in suburbia USA with a mini-van in the garage and a refrigerator full of food in the kitchen, my two healthy children nap in their cozy beds upstairs...and i know that i am blessed.  blessed to be a blessing...

the rest of the world doesn't live like this.  and when i consider the needs that exist outside of the safe and secure walls of my home i sometimes feel helpless.  the world is so big and the needs are so great.  but i take andy stanley's advice and when i have the chance i 'do for one what i wish i could do for everyone'.

today i am reaching out across the ocean to a mother in africa who has a son just like me.  a son who, like my own, surely brings her great joy and delight.  a son who she fears may lose his life too young.  there are a lot of things i can not do...but this i can.

i can weave together these sentences to tell her story.  i can send money that i don't really need for new shoes or a dinner out...money that can be life-giving for them rather than just life-enhancing for me.  i can pray for that mother {i am a mother too}.  i can send my words of love in a letter to encourage a boy who is looking death in the face.

i am grateful for organizations like compassion who make it possible for me to do 'something'.  our sponsored child {christina} is from burkina faso, africa - just like fatao.  

maybe they know each other.  maybe their mamas bear one another's burdens together.  will you help me bear them too?