Take a good look at this little one. I don’t know his name, but we’ll call him Michael. He’s three.
Michael was born with a deformity. His legs were crossed over each other inwards, like an X. He couldn’t walk; he had to pull himself around if he wanted to get anywhere. Because of his deformity, his parents didn’t want him.
But they didn’t just put him in the orphanage. Instead, they put him in the dump. He, in their minds, wasn’t anything more than a piece of trash.
He was found in the dump and brought to the orphanage. Since then, he has had surgery to correct his legs. The wooden stick in the picture is holding his legs apart, and every time he goes back for a checkup they shave off some of the wood to close the gap. Slowly, his legs are healing straight. The doctors say he’ll never walk. (Will you believe with me that God will let this little boy walk?)
The lady at the orphanage (#1, if you read the first part of this series) said he’s the most joyful child she’s been around. He doesn’t complain, and he’s always happy.
He may not know the word “forgiveness.” He may not know all that’s happened to him in his three years of existence. But someday he’ll start asking questions. We can only imagine all the questions a child in this circumstance may have — Why am I in an orphanage? Where are my parents? Do – or did – my parents love me? And the questions once he’s gotten some answers — How could my parents decide to put me in the dump? Am I really worth anything? Does anyone love me?
Michael is going to have to wrestle with questions once he gets older. He’s going to have to learn what it means to forgive. Most likely, he’ll be at the orphanage when he’s old enough to ask the questions and start to come to grips with his life.
We can’t forget the husband and wife who run the orphanage. How does anyone help a child walk through the process of forgiveness? How does anyone help anyone walk through the process of forgiveness?
It must take patience. Revisiting Scripture; revisiting passages of God’s forgiveness for even the “most” unjust acts committed, and passages that remind us exactly why we need to forgive. Understanding that forgiveness is hard and can even be excruciating. An attitude of forgiveness to model to the one who needs to forgive.
If you think of it, please pray for Michael. Pray for his healing, and for the path of forgiveness he’ll have to take. Pray also for those who will be with him when he walks that path.
Pray as the Lord leads. And I encourage you to think beyond this post. In your life, are there situations of forgiveness or situations that need forgiveness? Are there people you can walk with or people you need to forgive? I’m asking the same questions.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a