“There was this silent, holy moment between Auntie Sarah and myself as we unwrapped the blankets and got to look at this brand new little one that somehow bore the all the grief and sweet joy of her abandonment. What a heavy grief for a mother to choose to say goodbye to the baby she birthed and the extreme joy that we get to have her for our own. The Aunties and I then gathered around her to welcome her into our home, praying for her and marveling over all of her newness together.”
This morning I sat reading this blog, which is written by the daughter of a very dear friend of mine. Nicole Gillette works at an orphanage in Johannesberg, South Africa. This particular passage is about an occasion where a mother with a newborn baby came to the orphanage because she felt she was not able to take care of her just-born daughter. Nicole’s words so sweetly capture the pathos of it all, and you can’t help but feel the heart of this baby girl.
When you read the words describing Nicole’s joy, however, what you are witnessing is an act of courage, because of course Nicole doesn’t get to have this little girl for her very own. The aim, of course, is to find forever homes for these little children, but even if the children were to somehow stay forever in this orphanage, Nicole won’t be able to stay with them. She recently was transferred from one children’s house to another, which will disrupt a very close relationship she formed with one of the babies in the house where she had been working. Eventually, she will have to return to the United States. These babies are not hers to keep, and she knows this. When she so freely and fully gives her heart to them, she is doing it with the full knowledge of the heartbreak of separation at some near or far day.
This is true always for all of us, whenever we choose to love, but it is never something we believe. Whenever we embrace love, we see eternity in the eyes of those we love. In that way, we are more like Nicole’s babies than Nicole. Innocently, we give our hearts thinking surely they will never break. Few of us have the courage Nicole has, to give ourselves willingly and knowingly to the truth of love … although, it must be said that Nicole does see eternity in the eyes of those she loves. Throughout her blog, she states that it is her faith in Jesus that allows her to do what she does, and that she knows that through him she will again be able to embrace all these little ones. And I have to say that her faith so simply stated touches me more than a thousand words from the most inspired evangelist.
Nevertheless, I present to you Nicole Gillette as an example of the strength and courage you are always accusing me of having. She stands up and reaches out and gives her heart away, every day. So let her inspire you, and keep her in your prayers.