Simple Things Take Root
Did you know that having your basic necessities taken care of is the simplest, yet deepest, means of knowing you are loved? It’s true. When we have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, it offers a sense of security. In the developing world, this can lead to the most meaningful thing of all: hope.
Feelings of abandonment, helplessness and insecurity often plague those who face an unknown future. Take Claudy for instance. He’s an eight-year-old Haitian boy living in an orphanage (operated by an FMSC partner) in the heart of Port-au-Prince. Last year when I met Claudy, he was fairly new to the orphanage and had deep anger issues.
Claudy would literally walk up to you and kick you in the shins or punch you in the arm for no apparent reason. When approached to play a game or get a high five, you could clearly see in his eyes the struggle between distrust and the desire to be loved. Something about him completely tugged at my heart and for the last year, I’ve kept a picture of him hanging in my office.
Last year, when I returned to Haiti, I noticed something had changed in Claudy. There was light in his eyes and a smile on his face! His guard was still up, but his defenses were lowered. He even allowed me a hug or two.
The most inspiring thing to see was how he looked up to the men on our team. He adored them. With no men in his life on a consistent basis, you could see the longing for a strong role model. When we gathered to sing together, Claudy grabbed a broken racket and sat next to my teammate, Jon, as he played the guitar. Claudy was rockin’ out! Future Hendrix maybe?
Sometimes it’s the simplest of things in life that take root and grow the deepest within us. A full belly. A simple smile. A hug. “Wow! That’s amazing – You did a great job!”, or “Way to go!” can reach further than we may ever know.
Let’s not take for granted those opportunities to invest in someone, as simple as those moments may seem.