This is uncomfortable, it is sad and it hurts. It is the kind of thing that makes a grown man cry – and it has. I have cried about it alone because the weight is unbearable.
I saw pain in her eyes as she told me. I don’t think I had seen a broken heart in someone’s eyes before – I saw it in hers.
Since she shared with me what she heard, it has been like that black cloud that follows you around on the cartoons. Except this is reality, a very dark, painful reality.
Please be warned, this is not easy or fun to read. This isn’t something that is going to just touch your heart. This is painful and it is something that hurts your soul.
This is how it happened.
Maricleine (see the last blog, she’s our little breakfast visitor) showed up with her siblings just like every other afternoon. We had just returned from dropping off some friends in Leticia and from trying to rest a bit before returning to our overly busy life and ministry.
As usual, everyone was at our house. At least 10 people including kids, teens and Rosa (the wonderful lady that God has put in our life) were here. I was gone, looking at another house for another couple. When I returned I walked in and Ashley looked like something was really wrong.
She began by saying, “ I feel physically sick at what she (Maricleine) just told me”.
Now, Maricleine has said some really vulgar things and we know that she is exposed to pornography and abuse in her home. But I don’t think anyone could be ready for what was to come next – not even Rosa who has been here for years working with people like Maricleine and her family.
Rosa asked, “Maricleine, did you mom go to work today?”
“No”, said Marcleine, in a very normal way. “She’s sick”.
“She’s sick, what’s wrong with her?” asked Ashley.
“She had a baby last night” once again, said in a normal, non issue type way. At this point Rosa and Ashley looked at eachother very confused.
Ashley repeated, “She had a baby?”
“LIE” was what quickly and obviously upsettingly came out of Maricleia’s (Maricleine’s older sister) mouth.
Maricleine quickly defended herself by saying,” No, I saw it! Its head was this big” and holding up her hand and making a circle with her fingers about the size of a quarter.
“What, who told you it was a baby?” Ashley said.
“I saw it!” she responded as any child would who was pleading their case. “It was there in all the blood” she added to prove she wasn’t lying this time and to subsequently seal an image in our hearts that she had in her head.
“But who told you it was a baby?!” Ashley requested again.
“My dad, but I saw it, it’s head was this big” she said again and once more showing the size.
Her mom had aborted her baby and gave birth to a dead child, probably no more that 2 months along. She did it where everyone in the family was able to see – including a 6 year old child who has been exposed to more than any grown man should ever have to see.
One of the saddest things was the simple, easy, matter-of-fact type way that this young child told the story. As if it were normal…..but, for her, it is normal.
Who knows how many times she has seen that in her life, her dead brother or sister lying in a pool of blood because it was an inconvenience to her parents.
It is illegal to have an abortion here in Brazil but that is a non-issue when you can buy drugs to do it at home at the local pharmacy.
The next day, Maricleine came over in the morning, as she always does. But this time her first words were something out of a horror movie. Something she said just like she would say, “HEY neighbor!” or “Can I have some bread?????”. This was no good morning greeting.
“My mom threw the baby away this morning”, she said.
Think about those words. This young girl watched her mom (that wouldn’t care if any of her other children died today) literally throw her baby brother or sister away. Treated like it was a piece of trash.
Maricleine has now learned that if you don’t want a child, you can just kill it and throw it away with the other things you don’t want.
She is 6, that could have easily been her. Her mom certainly doesn’t want her or any of her other 7+ brothers or sisters. Her dad makes it clear that the only thing he wants is beer and sex. EVERYTHING else is free for him to ignore, abuse and treat as he wants.
As we are hurt for this family and their reality, for the mom that obviously has no self worth or love for/from anyone. For the baby that was murdered because it was conceived in a drunken night and was nothing more than an expense at a pharmacy. And for these children that are exposed to such horrible things as if it is normal,
our eyes are opened that this is normal. This is “right”. This is what you do, this is how you treat life. This is the majority of the world. This is how most kids grow up, this is how millions and millions of innocent children die. This is the meaningless life that most of the world lives.
This is reality – apart from Christ.
What are we doing to accomplish what James tells us is “true religion” by taking care of the orphans and widows in their need. We stand up and hold signs outside of abortion clinics and talk about how sinful it is and how God will judge murder…..what if those children were born and remained unwanted – would we invite them into our homes, would we feed them, would we adopt them, would we love them as if they were our own?
Before we are so quick to say a hearty, “YES, OF COURSE”……how are we doing that for the literal MILLIONS of them all over the world right now? If we are not doing it now, what makes us think we would take up for the more than 3,500 new ones each day in the US alone?
May God have mercy on us as we claim to be followers of Him but live completely contrary to our words – and His Word.
We are reminded that apart from Christ, we are not even able to desire to do the things that these children and adults need. That He died for us while we were yet sinners. That He loved us first. And THAT is our motivation.
So, our hearts are broken. Our souls are heavy and the weight of sin is unbearable. The hopelessness that these children are in is enough to make you ask yourself, “is there a God”?
But as we run to Him in our pain, we know that He is the Great Comforter that He promises to give us rest and that His yoke is light (because he has carried the weight of this sin already). We know that the weight of Glory crushes the weight of sin. We know that He loves these people and these babies more than we ever could. I would never give my son to be brutally murdered so that Maricleine’s mom and dad could have life. Yet He did – and my call is to LIVE that in front of them.
Pray for us. Pray for this family. Pray that we glorify Him in all that we do. Pray that the Church steps up and DOES what it was called to do and quits merely filling bottles with coins once a year to aide a pro-life center. Pray that along with that, we will open our homes, our families. Pray that more people will foster, that more will adopt, that more MEN will step out to reach people like Maricleine’s dad.
Let’s stop passing out condoms and start bringing in children.
“Help us to know a sacrifice that’s real, a pain that we can feel, a Love we can’t explain”. It is our calling as His disciples.