Tag Archives: need

Those Left Behind

It seems like yesterday that I traveled home with my youngest daughter.

From time to time as we flew high above the earth

I glanced at her.

Tiny little two year old. Dimpled darling with deep, penetrating eyes.

And I wondered.

How would I manage to parent two daughters

along with having a counseling practice?

But when the fears loomed

my thoughts went back to my many prayers.

That long walk on the beach

seeking God’s Will…

Wanting to be sure.

From the beginning her adoption was difficult.

A failed adoption in Ukraine.

House arrest.

Fears galore.

Endless visits to orphanages.

Seeking.

Praying.

Quietly wondering.

Then arriving in Russia and seeing her for the first time.

Moments that I cherish in my heart.

So small. So serious. Soooooo …..to this day there are no words.

Suddenly having to leave her without an explanation

that I would be back.

Yes I would be back.

Asking to go to a store to purchase a stuffed bear

and running up the orphanage steps, opening the heavy doors,

and giving it to the orphanage worker.

“Please, please give this to her,” Tears filled my eyes.

“Tell her I will be back.” It was so important that she knew.

The worker nodded and I turned to leave.

A question remained in my heart.

Would she possibly remember to tell my little one.

How would I ever know?

But leave I must.

With a heavy heart I walked out that day

And was driven away.

So long ago.

So long ago.

A lump grow in my throat whenever I begin to think

To remember the journey of bringing  her home.

Love keeps giving and giving and giving.

Love seeks – pursues- wanting the best for the one loved.

But today as I pause to remember

my heart is turned to the ones I left.

Behind those orphanage doors I had to leave so many children.

Before I traveled and saw the need my heart was at peace.

But now I know the truth.

There are millions of orphaned children around the world.

Millions.

Lord, free me from indifference and help do what I can with what I have.

My heart easily stretches around the world.

My heart aches to fill the overwhelming need

of children needing loving parents of their own.

Free me, Lord, from a desire to be comfortable while others

weep tears of loneliness and pain.

Yes,  it’s too easy to forget when you don’t see the need.

But I remember and still hear the cries of little children

who deserve their own parents.

Maybe you feel you don’t have what it takes.

I understand. Neither do I.

But God has an amazing way of helping us do what might seem impossible.

And He still does.

Yes, He does.

 

 

Who Is Calling For Your Help Today?

An ordinary day. An ordinary walk.

Just my youngest daughter and I at the downtown mall.

Suddenly I heard the sound.

So faint I almost missed it.

“Please help me.”

I glanced around wondering where those words had come from.

My eyes fell on the form of an elderly woman crouched on the steps of a building.

I slowed my steps to look and I heard those words again.

“Please help me.”

My heart leapt with mixed longing and caution.

Alone she sat while people walked back and forth busy about their plans.

Her aged eyes met mine

and she spoke again. “Please help me.”

Placed before her on the brick walk was a solitary bowl containing a few bills.

I kept on slowly walking pondering the need suddenly put right on my path.

“Was she really in need?”

She was clothed simply as far as I could see. But those words pierced my heart.

As my daughter and I walked on past we softly spoke.

“We should give something to her,” we agreed.

I knew that we didn’t have much with us. And was this a genuine need?

In this day it is common to ask this question.

And then I thought again. My daughter –young and growing so quickly these days

was learning. What would my life teach her?

Caution? To hold tightly to what we have? To shut our hearts to the needs of another?

Lord, help me live with open heart and open hands, I prayed.

He knew the bigger need at that moment.

In the distance I could hear the shaky voice call again, “Please help me.”

And in that moment I knew.

Life is lived by giving;

not grasping.

By emptying ourselves;

not hoarding our treasured possessions.

By loving;

not selfishness.

It took only a few second until we stood in front of her.

We both rummaged in our wallets.

Time seemed to stop as I watched my daughter step forward

to place our offering in the bowl.

Multiply that simple offering, Lord, and bless this dear soul.

Yes, Lord.

In as much as you do it unto her you do it unto Me. (Matt. 25:37)

A sacred moment when we touched His Robe.

Let me never become so cautious and careful

that I miss an opportunity to join You in Your Work here

and I turn deaf ears to a cry for help.

“Please help me.”

Who is calling for your help today?

PC NoelleBraniPhotography

Dancing With the Daffodils

It was more than forty years ago

but I can’t see daffodils without remembering that special moment of long ago.

Everything that day up until that moment had been ordinary.

College classes.  Long walks to and fro. Quick snack on the run.

I was young. Yes, very young and going to college more than five hours from home.

And I missed home.

My mom’s cooking. The sound of familiar voices.  Loving family ties.

The broad streets where the first hint of spring had appeared.  My mom had told me about it in her recent letter. But it was still three weeks until spring break. Three weeks that seemed like forever to this college freshman.

As I walked into the dorm that late afternoon

my thoughts were probably already pondering what I’d study that night.

My steps were slow matching the heaviness of my heart.

But as I walked toward the stairs that would take me to my room

my eyes fell upon a huge bouquet of daffodils sitting on the counter.

Their beauty broke through not only the dreariness of my lonely life

but also the routine of the day.

Curiosity drew me to the yellow daffodils.

Who could have possibly left them here?

I glanced around the empty lobby.

Strange.

Then my eyes looked down at those gorgeous dancing flowers

and I noticed a small piece of white paper with something scribbled on it.

My name.

That was all.

Those lovely daffodils were for me.

Someone. Somewhere had left them for me.

Joy upon joy flooded my heart. Loneliness disappeared and in it’s place was gratitude.

Words from Wordsworth’s poem came to mind –

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance

That gorgeous bouquet shone as brightly as ten thousand daffodils

that day

and still dances in my memory. Rich with beauty.

Somehow the years passed and I found myself finally going home

to my lovely hometown along the Susquehanna River.

But I never forgot those golden dancing daffodils and the kindness of the mysterious giver.

And today as I passed them on a morning walk my heart beat gladly with joy again.

He knows your every need.

He sees your deepest longing.

He cares

and will never forget.

daffodils march 10