Humbled by Silent Tears

Humbled by Silent Tears

I am very tired but I wanted to write a small note with a few thoughts on today.   We spent the whole afternoon with orphans.

Tragic, beautiful…haunting.  It always is.  It always takes a piece of me and just shatters me.  Still, and will again and again.

I thought of how much their lives were like the wilderness, and that they are still growing and thriving throughout all of their devastation, with just a tiny bit of watering.

It was like it always is, the children attack with affection, at your legs, your hands, your arms and any part they can cling to.   This gesture if for but a moment seems to heal their wounds and create comfort and smiles.  When I embrace them it reminds me that brokenness is a part of  life, and some take on a bit more than others.   I hope that somehow I can take on this challenge and help these children plant a seedbed of their brokenness and grow new life. It is a huge challenge.

A beautiful 6 year old girl saw us getting ready to leave.  We had loved on her so much and she was precious and touched our hands, and inspected my skin for every freckle and imperfection.   She gently played with the littles and mommied all the babies.  She had taken on a big role in their lives.  At this shocking time of our leaving, the realization that our touch would be removed was more than she could take.   Who would be her mommy now we are leaving?

The tears began to roll down her cheeks.  No sound, head down, broken.  I sat with nothing to do or say but join her in sadness and tears.   All orphans know this familiar silent cry.   The cry that has no sound because the sound that was designed for a cry is not always be attended to, it slowly leaves and isn’t necessary anymore because there is not always someone to meet the needs.

God comfort her in the night…let her know your love and know she’s not alone, orphaned but not alone.

I kissed her forehead and left.

Love is about service to others. Love is something that bonds people to each other and places and things.  Love is our deepest longing.  Let her know love.

  1. Beautifully written…I remember what that is like and can’t wait to hold more precious children in the future…it is sooo hard and heart-breaking.

    One child at a time, one life at a time…

    • Lori says:

      It for sure is one child at a time…but oh how I so wish it were many. The emotional toll of a trip like this is great. Some days it is so hard to work, and I have to put that behind me and carry on.

  2. Kayley says:

    I agree… Beautifully written. You put into words what I couldn’t when I was there. Well truthfully sometimes there just are no words for the deep sadness these kids experience. Makes me want to work that much harder on their behalf and just love them.

    • Lori says:

      Kayley..soon so very soon!! I was trying to blog on my last trip and just couldn’t find the words that would honor these children in a way that they deserved. Those words sometimes are just too precious to be spoken or written.

  3. Tracy Ernst says:

    Wow, Lori. This broke my heart. This reminds me so much of the feelings I had when visiting the orphanage in Kazakhstan. The sound of crying in the distance knowing that there weren’t enough caregivers to tend to them all. It just breaks my heart.

    • Lori says:

      It was hard leaving. I have a little friend Sophie, who has attached herself to me like super glue. She loves to groom me and take the hair from my face and mouth when the wind blows. As I was leaving she had collected one of my hairs and had it on her face and she was going to keep it I think for as long as she could. Such small things, such huge emotions.

  4. Lori Hetzel says:

    Lori, how well I remember the tiny hands and arms that wrap themselves around you, not wanting to let go. The searching orphan eyes gazing up into your face. searching, needing, wanting. Once you experience this, it stays with you forever. I still cry over the young girl that escorted us to the room where Nadya was. She was about 10. Beautiful brown hair, dark orphan eyes. She kept looking back to see if we were following. She began with a smile, and when she looked back again, tears were streaming down her cheeks. She put her head down, and opened the door.I can only imagine, that she was thinking, “Why can’t that be me?”
    That was the last time I ever saw her. I wonder still to this day, if a family ever came for her. Leaving is so hard. But know this, you have touched Uganda in more ways than you even know. God has a purpose for you, and this is just the beginning!

    Much Love,

    • Lori says:

      I hope to find the energy to put down into words everything that has transpired in the past few days…minus the bad part haha. It has been very fruitful, and probably the most frustration I’ve ever experienced in my work in 12 years.

      • Erin Herman says:

        Beautifully written, thought provoking post, Lori. My heart bleeds for these children. Lifting you and each one of them up in prayer as you continue your work. Blessings, Erin

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