I've Had it all Wrong

31 Jan

Today I held a child at the orphanage. I wasn’t sure if he was a boy or a girl. His face was contorted and deformed, his eyes were tiny slits, his nose flattened and one nostril looked like it had been ripped open. His mouth was crooked and tiny. His body was the size of a two year old and it twisted and squirmed in my arms. At first I could hardly look at his face, I could hardly accept the fact that this was a human, a child at that. I was slightly frightened and almost repulsed at what I held in my arms.

“Why God?” I whispered, “It doesn’t seem fair.” All the beautiful people in this world, and here was this innocent Chinese orphan with the face of a monster. He continued to awkwardly cringe in my arms, and I could smell vomit on him. Holding my breathe and looking away from his face, I began to rock him. I gently tickled his baby soft belly, and he let out an infectious giggle. I tickled him again and the giggle turned into a bursting, joyous laughter! I could hardly believe a sound so beautiful came out of that face. I tickled him more, and his cracked mouth bubbled up with innocent laughter. It could have been the sound of any normal, beautiful child. As laughter overtook him, something overtook me. I began to laugh along with this deformed child, this twisted face abandoned by his mother. As we laughed, I stared at his fragile face and my eyes welled up with tears and my heart began to open and I wanted to scream or run or jump but all that I could do was tickle and kiss and laugh with this precious child.

I’ve had it all wrong. Beauty is not what it seems.

I put him down on the bed at one point and continued to tickle him, but he barely laughed. I realized he only laughed when I cradled him in my arms. I rocked him and kissed his contorted face. I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
“You’re beautiful. You are loved. You are special.” I whispered, and truly meant it. He reached up with tiny hands and began to stroke my tear stained face and my hair. He couldn’t see me, but he could feel me. For one precious moment, I saw past his skin and saw what God saw.

And it was beautiful.

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One Response to “I've Had it all Wrong”

  1. Rebekah Elizabeth February 2, 2008 at 12:08 am #

    This is beautiful. It made me cry.

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