Monday, October 26, 2015

India Clinic Day 1: Two of a kind

He came over slowly, his eyes looking off to one side. Sitting, he placed his hands in his lap, sat forward and looked everywhere but at me. He was 12 years old but was the size of a 6 year old. Stunted and malnourished, he was shy, introverted and clearly uncomfortable. Taking his hand, I held it for a moment saying nothing, and then I simply looked at hm and smiled. He turned and looked at me and a faint smile appeared if only for a moment. I asked if I could take his picture so as to remember his smile and he smiled just a little bit more. But his eyes said it all. Do you see it? Sadness, with just a touch of hope. But we connected. A relationship of trust, that unspoken covenant, that singular moment of understanding between 2 people spoken without words.
He came over slowly, feet shuffling, a look of wonder and uncertainty as to what this was all about. His was a slightly cherubic face, a child of only 4 years old with a no nonsense character and an attitude that begged for an invitation to engage but only on his terms. And I did. I took his hand and held it for a moment. He took his hand away and held it close to his lap. He wanted no part of this relationship that I was trying hard to establish. I tried again, but there was no chance of winning him over. He was healthy, well nourished and sure of himself.
And so I wondered, how different and yet how much they were the same. Both born into the same community, same exposure to hardships, and the same opportunities given to them granted they were limited and minimal. One was stunted, malnourished, small for age and destined for a life of poor health and poverty as a result. The other was just a little fatty with an attitude of "I can do anything", destined to a life that would lead him to a better place. Two of a kind. Interesting how relationships are more often grounded between those who are fragile and those who are wanting to give. That came home to me today. Two of a kind, but not really.

In all things give thanks,