“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” Mother Teresa
When there are children without families living in an institution, it feels ridiculous to think that some foam stickers can help. But this week, the truth “small things done in great love” hit home again.
Honestly, I was looking for an easy-peasy craft to do with the kids this week. There is a huge remodeling project going on at the orphanage and the classrooms have all been moved, combined, and packed up to accommodate. I wasn’t sure what I would find or where my classes would meet, which meant a huge messy paint project might not be the best of ideas.
It was time to pull out a simple go to craft and use some of the super fun foam stickers some visitors brought us this summer. I had no idea that foam crowns could be greeted with such enthusiasm. I pulled out the crowns in my first class and the children clapped. I was taken back. Really? The project I feared would take half a class period was met with great focus and concentration. The kids dug through the stickers looking for the perfect ones and meticulously placed them. The Chinese teacher ran for a mirror as I hot glued the completed creations. That is when I was truly floored.
I placed the crowns on the heads of my sweet students and watched their countenance transform. They beamed.
The children took turns telling each other how beautiful they looked and then they voted as a class on whose crown was the best. We even used the last moments of class for the children to line up for a class photo. The joy didn’t stop as class ended. Foster parents came to pick up their charges gasped at the students who had been transformed into royalty. “Wow! Who gave you a crown? You look beautiful.” As I took it all in, I realized that one of my heart felt goals was being accomplished…unintentionally. The children felt special, worthy, valued and wanted. I beamed.
Later that day I was invited into the infant nursery. A two year old boy, who is more like an infant due to his special needs, was placed in my arms. He leaned his tiny head into the crock of my arm and my body instinctively bounced him gently side to side. Within minutes he was asleep. The nanny shook her head with a sad grin, “as soon as they are held they sleep.”
As I gazed into his sleeping face one of the foster care workers commented, “He is unwanted. No one will ever adopt him.”
I wanted to argue with her, but deep down I knew the truth of her words. His needs are severe. He will never leave this place. But it is only half truth.
I know the One who is Creator and Redeemer. That baby boy is not unwanted or unloved. There will be a day when a crown is placed on his head. He will be whole, happy, healed and know the love of our Father. Oh, what a glorious day that will be.
Until that day, rocking that sweet boy to sleep is like a bit of heaven on earth.