This afternoon I was having choir practice with Magdala’s little children’s choir. They were practicing a song called There is Love. The Americans sing in English and they sing not in Creole but in a language that is spoken in Africa. It’s really beautiful. I hope to record it tomorrow at church.
But the most amazing thing to me was not the song but the prayer that followed. I watched as a little girl no more than 7 years old closed her eyes and bowed her head. I listened as she said, “Thank you God for what do and thank you God for what you don’t do”. What? We all thank God for what He does. But have you ever thanked God for what He doesn’t do?
There’s just something about the way she so innocently prayed that caught me off guard. I’m not sure at 28 years of age that I could say to God – Thank you for what You don’t do…I mean I think we spend most of our time complaining or feeling like God isn’t listening to us when things don’t happen as we think they should.
I asked Magdala if that’s really what the little girl said – maybe my Creole was wrong or something. Nope – that’s what she said. Magdala told me that she taught her choir since the beginning that God gives and He takes away. That He does and sometimes He doesn’t. She said by teaching the kids to be thankful for what God doesn’t do – it allows them to remember that He is in control at all times. So it’s HIS choice to not do something on our behalf. By realizing it’s His choice – we can strengthen our faith and realize that God is trying to teach us by “not doing” something.
That seems like such a hard thing for a little kid to understand. I’m not sure that I could pray as innocently as she did but – wow – do I ever see the fruit of Magdala’s labor! I think over the last few years – there was little that surprised me…… but this last year – God knocks me off my feet almost every other day.
I listened tonight as the eye team talked about their day. Dr. Moyes said that today was the first day since 1981 that a corneal transplant has been done. It’s the first time for sure we’ve ever done that – but even before 1981 – there weren’t many done. Do you even realize what that means? That means that someone died in the states – and we brought their donated organ – their corneal – to Haiti and placed it in a 12 year old who was blind. A 12 year old who has severe vitamin A deficiency and has already lost the vision in one eye. He came with a cane and a harmonica…..he left with just the harmonica.
I heard about a 5 year old and I believe an 8 year old – two little girls – who had this transplant today and for the first time they can see. Do you even realize how amazing that is? First of all you live in Haiti and it’s all you can do to make it every day – then you’re blind? It doesn’t even seem fair?
So you live in Haiti and your house is now full of mud and what little belongings you have are gone. So you had 7 kids and you’ve buried 3 of them. So you go to bed hungry and wake up in pain? So you lay on dirt floors and the rain comes through your roof? So you watch as all the other kids go to school and you stay home taking care of your little brothers and sisters while your mom looks for work. YET YOU PRAY – Thank you God for what You do and thank you God for what you DON’T DO.
I only share this with you because a little 7 year-old totally convicted my heart and nearly shamed my faith. I don’t know what it looks like when it’s played out – but starting tonight – I’m going to do my very best to thank Him for what He does and thank Him for what He doesn’t do.
Categories: Mission Stories