I think the days here are longer, or perhaps it just seems that way because of the expansive life, song, and beauty in every moment.
Last year, we went to New Hope Christian Centre, a ministry that cares for, feeds and educates orphans and vulnerable children, many of whom have HIV themselves. I loved these children and I wanted to give them something, but I hadn't brought anything with me. Instead, they gave me the most amazing gift -- they sang I Love You Jesus Deep Down in My Heart in the most angelic, beautiful voices. That song, sung by those sweet voices has stayed with me for the last 14 months. I have heard their voices resonating inside me and when I tell Jesus I love him, I often do so through that song. This year, I wanted to give them a gift in return for what they gave me. So, before I left the US, I ordered a hundred colorful bracelets that say I Love You Jesus, or God Loves Me, or WWJD. I brought them with me to hand out. Today was delivery day!
I slid a bracelet on each child's arm (there were about 45 of them) touching their hands and arms, looking them in the eyes and telling them, "God loves you;" "Jesus loves you." Some whispered "thank you." Others smiled. Still others just stared at me with curiosity. But they sang a song again: We are marching in the house of God. They marched around their little one-room schoolhouse, dancing, singing and laughing. I have not experienced the house of God in this way before, but let's just say you may see me marching around at church very soon.
"Jesus called the children to him and said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Luke 18:16-17)
Guess I'll have to go back and bring another gift . . .