Today, I discovered one of the many real reasons why I'm supposed to be here.

Myself and a few other volunteers were at one of our off site orphanages that we visit once a week for a few hours. It's probably what you'd really think of when you think of an orphanage in a third world country--dirty, chaotic & unorganized. And it's one of those places that consistently brings you to your knees in humility with each visit. Today, especially.

Without delving into all the details of what happened because even I'm still pretty shaken up, one of the kids was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was run over a few times by a truck. My thought process moved at an agonizingly slow pace like it usually does when I am forced to confront emergencies. So slow, in fact, that it's been a good 5 hours and I'm finally figuring out what really happened and how I really feel--one of those feelings being appreciation. Appreciation for Caitlin, who is an EMT and knew exactly what to do, and for Julie, who knew exactly what to say to get done what needed to be done, for Anna, who knew how to comfort him, for Lee, who knew how to comfort us, and for Rex, who knew how to pray for all of us. But my feelings didn't start like this.

Sometimes I wonder why this kid's life is inherently and will always be so much more difficult than mine. Sometimes I wonder about how this kid's parents are out there somewhere and they don't know nor do they give a damn that their offspring is in critical condition. Sometimes I wonder why God does things the way He does. But none of that matters. And I realized that while this kid doesn't have any blood that cares about what happens to him, I was there. And I care about him. Even if I'm the only one who knows it, at least someone, somewhere up there knows that this kid matters and that someone loves him. That reason alone is enough to know that here is where I'm supposed to be. I feel like I could go home now purely because of this experience. I have deeply cared for a child who deeply needed it.

I'm reading a book about happiness right now. Sometimes I feel like it's one giant platitude, but there's some real gold in it, too. It talks about altruism or the belief that when one gives, the receiver actually gets the raw end of the deal. The giver is the real recipient of the joy. Today, for one of the first real times, I experienced this phenomenon that is altruism.

Today, I experienced real happiness.


Post edit: I failed to mention that the little boy is fine at the present moment. He got away with a fractured pelvis and a few scratches on his arms, but the care that he is under is still a major concern considering the area he lived in was quite poor and the financial means to care for him may not be present. If you feel the desire, please pray for him. He could use it.


kelli christine case said...

what an experience. i cannot wait to talk when you come home. whoa girl.

Ché Renouard said...

This gave me chills. I hope he's doing better, and all those kids have at least 16 people who love them unconditionally. Keep up the good work girl, you're amazing and never forget it!

gerbdesign said...

Good for you! You are making such an incredible difference in those kids lives! God bless you!

Maddy said...

Made my cry Anna James. Love you so much

katrina said...

all i could think about while reading this is

1. i love you so much


2. joey and phoebe. please tell me you have seen that episode. HAH