They still do happen, miracles, a bit like a flash in the sky. Coming up the backside of things, coming up from the other way.
Caleb said it as soon as we drove in, that we’d been at this church, at Compassion’s school here, last July.
I told him that nah, that he was all turned around, that we’d never come this way before.
“You sure?” he cocks his head like it could help. “The buildings look sorta — familiar.” Like which part, the steel roof part or the yellow paint part? As if I could rib the good kid with words. Good son that he is, he politely ignores his mother’s limping tease and he insists.
“Do Compassion centres all have similar architecture?” He turns to our Compassion translator who nods yes, sometimes. This place is new. Only 2 years old.
Then in a rich accented English, arm pointing. “I brought you here last year, but that time we came in from the south, not from the north like then.”
And Caleb jabs a wink my way. “Told you, Mother. I’d know those yellow walls anywhere.” Uh huh. “We took pictures with the kids who needed sponsors right over there.”
And then there he was, Wenchel, flashing a smile.
Kids who last July didn’t have a sponsor and we shared their names with you most amazing grace-struck people.
And you wrapped an arm around them and welcomed them into your lives and 8 months of Compassion-love later — we’re witnesses to their sheet lightening smiles in the dark.
They’re right here, 8 months later!
Sparking eyes! Splitting laughter! Charged smiles and I’m all goosebumps and compassion is always the rain that ends the drought.
And I turn to our translator. “Could you — I think the little girl my sister sponsors — I think she might be here?”
“You know the girl’s full name?” He looks in his bag for a pen.
I shake my head.
“Then if you give us your sister’s name — Compassion keeps full records at each development centre. We will look.”
And I watch them scroll through a file of names. Two false starts. Then flip a page.
And there! My sister’s name! And in a minute, there is the little girl in the door and the room claps! God-struck! The little girl on my sister’s fridge!
The little girl my 4 year old niece, Ana, had pointed to under the red Focus on the Family magnet and said, “Aunt Annie, will you see our Esther in Haiti?” and we’d told her that Haiti was a whole island with thousands and thousands of Compassion sponsored children and likely no, but we’d keep one eye out for her. And there she is, like straight out of the blue.
Shalom bends and says it like a gentle falling, “I am Shalom. My cousin is your sponsor and she loves you.”
And I write her name, Esther, on one of the extra Creole Jesus Storybook Bible we’d just happened to serendipitously pack, and slip it into Esther’s shy hands, and your heart was made to beat for such a time as this.
You were made to make more than a living. You were made to make a difference.
You were made be an Esther, to give your life away for forever things, and anything less will give you grief.
You were made for the place where your real passion meets compassion, because there lies your real purpose.
And I touch Esther’s cheek. Miracles never cease — when someone just begins.
When someone just begins with one — believing lightning always strikes wherever we love.
And Kai and Levi stand with Myrtil and Djouvens.
And Shalom draws Dorance close.
And we pray for sponsors for these three here, for the least of these, and I see it right there on Dorance’s feet —
Red ruby slippers.
She’s wearing red ruby slippers.
And we aren’t in Kansas anymore, and we aren’t in ignorance, and we know that one spinning cycle of grace can up and lift a child up and that miracles happen like the touch of a finger out of the sky.
Dorance in her Dorothy Red Ruby Slippers looks up, looking for someone, looking like there’s no place like home.
Looking for the people of God to be a home.
Somewhere out across the fields, a kid goat cries like a child.
Will you be one who makes miracles really happen? Be a home for a child in need?
Because there really is no place like Home — Home in the people of God, the care of Christ, us His hands and feet.
Americans be a home here, and Canadians here — Kai, Levi and Shalom, they are praying that you and yours will be a sponsor for Dorance and Myrtil and Djvouens today.
Miracles never cease — when someone just begins.