29 July 2010

Gifts, Part 2

The next thing I knew, he was asleep. I found out his name—Jameson. I found out he’s one of five siblings, all living with their mother in a tent city. I found out that he’s three years old…he hardly looked it. Jameson slept through the games. He slept through the bracelets and the worship and the skit the American team put on for them. In fact, I could hardly get him to wake up when it was time to eat.

“Leve kanpe,” I urged him, “get up, Jameson.” He barely stirred. I couldn’t let him leave without eating—he clearly needed it. “Wake up, Jameson,” I told him in Creole, “or I’m putting you down. You can’t sleep now.” He refused to wake up, so I started to put him down. His eyes finally popped open--he grinned at me, and the girls watching us laughed. “Time for vitamins,” I told him. He wouldn’t take it. “It’s candy,” I told him. It was mostly true…Flintstones vitamins, the same ones I took as a kid. Nope. Nothing doing. The mouth was definitely closed for business.

I sat on a low cement wall, and someone brought us a plate of diri ak pwa, rice and beans. There was no way he’d eat it all, I thought, as tiny as he was, but he slowly began to power his way through it. He liked to squish the beans between his fingers and pop them in his mouth. I encouraged him to use the spoon, not knowing where his hands had been. Will came up to us and said there was room for him at a table...my shaking arms were grateful for the suggestion. I tried to pass her the plate I’d been holding so I could stand up. Given the way he grabbed it in reaction, I’m still surprised he didn’t rip the paper plate. “I’m not taking it from you,” I tried to tell him, but I couldn’t find the words. Finally, we gave up, and Will carried him, Jameson still maintaining a death grip on his plate.

She set him down at a mostly empty table, and I got down at eye level with him. I hadn’t had much chance to really look him in the eyes, and I wanted to remember his face for when I came back. Seeing me there, he lifted his spoon and offered me a bite of rice. I felt myself beginning to tear up, so I just smiled and told him, “No, thank you, I’m not hungry.” He went back to eating. At Will’s suggestion, I slipped his Flintstone vitamin into the aluminum tumbler that held his water and swished it around, hoping that some of it would dissolve. Jameson may be poor, but he is by no means stupid—he noticed it down there right away and firmly rejected the cup. (That's him in the picture below.)

Will took me across the street to tour the girls’ house and the guest house. On our way back to the car, I spied someone carrying Jameson down the road, back toward the camp. I called—he waved. The gal who runs the orphanage thanked me for coming, but it didn’t seem right. Funny how our attempts to be a blessing to others end up actually being a gift to us.

Thank you for your prayers—they allow us to share God’s great love with others, even when it’s as simple as a shoulder to sleep on.
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1 comment:

  1. Thank-you for sharing that with us. I will pray for Jameson and his family, as well as for you.