Tuesday, November 1, 2011

dancing eyes

From the moment I stepped off the plane in Uganda, my eyes felt pulled towards the eyes of the young babes. The ones that could have been the same age as my own back at home. Maybe all the mothers felt that. Maybe it was just me. Whatever it was, it felt like a magnetic force was pulling my eyes to lock with theirs.

I felt it first at the air port. Then our hotel. Next as we were driving the road from Kampala to Kyasena. And just about every place we went after.

Some of the eyes that mine locked with were happy eyes. Vivacious and full of life. They seemed to dance and when our eyes met, I couldn't help but smile.
Then there were the ones whose eyes did not dance. The ones whose bodies looked like little babes but whose eyes looked like the eyes of a weary adult. No life in them. No joy when our eyes locked. My heart ached as I gazed in to them searching for a glimmer of happiness.
As I noticed this more and more, I took note of their surroundings. Where they were. Who they were with. What they were doing.

The overwhelming majority of the children whose eyes were lifeless, were alone. Sitting on the front step bathing themselves. Watching us interact with the children from the PCM schools from a nearby fence. Carrying a heavy load on their head as they walked the streets. Sitting in the field as they watched other children experience what it's like to have no other responsibility than being a child and having fun.

Then there were those whose eyes were dancing. The ones whose bright eyes reminded me of Madelyn each time I looked in to them. They always had someone by their side or close enough to catch a reassuring look from on a moment's notice. Not just anyone. Not just an older sibling or a close friend. They had their father close by.

The Lord spoke to me through these sweet little faces.  The profound impact that the presence of an earthly father in the life of a child has on that child is no secret. It is well documented here in the states and abroad, I am sure, that children in homes where a father is present are healthier, happier and become better adults.

It was as if He was whispering James 4: 8 directly to me as I reflected on what I had seen...Draw near to me Kathryn, and I will draw near to you.

If the presence of an earthly father can have such an impact...can make eyes dance where sadness could loom...how much greater then does MY presence have on your life? On your eyes?

Sometimes, even on a mission trip to the other side of the world, I busy myself with things that don't matter to the point where I forget to draw near to Him and let His presence be felt in my life. To let Him be the one that makes my eyes dance.

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