Unconditional love. How often have you felt it? Needed it? Wanted it? Had it? Our God offers it and gives it to us all the time, but we often put up a barrier and block it from entering our hearts simply because we are too self-centered, self-assured and self-absorbed that we don’t want it or need it. What a shame. And then there are times when we see the same unconditional love given by humans to other humans. What gives? It’s relatively simple: there are those who give of themselves with no want or need for anything in return. They are comfortable with who they are and with what their purpose is in life. They don’t have to seek it nor wonder if they have it. It’s just there. Just like the grandmother of this three year old girl who came to us for help.
The cries were loud, persistent, high pitched and unyielding. With each wail, her arms extended outward at an abnormal angle, fingers rigid, hands arched back almost touching her forearm. Her back arched, her head flopped back, and her legs limp. This grandmother and the child’s caretaker, held her, stroked her head and whispered in her ear. She quieted. The child’s mother was absent, having run away after a fight with her husband. She may return the grandmother said, but was not convincing. So what happened?
At the age of seven months this child fell out of bed and was never the same after that. Unable to walk without assistance, floppy legs were the reason, the child never progressed through her normal milestones. Her head was big and probably has hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”). The grandmother was clearly loving, engaged and committed to this little girl. Hospitals and doctors were not able to make a diagnosis or help. Here’s what may have happened. She fell out of bed, may have had brain damage from the fall itself and may have stopped breathing with a period without oxygen. All the same, this little girl is significantly disabled.
What struck me was how loving and caring this grandmother was. She was openly loving, giving of herself. We spent a great deal of time with them, asking questions in order to find reasons for why the child was like she was. We prayed with her and then I promised to help them see a local doctor that I know who may be willing to care for this child, find ways to make her life a little better and to ensure that she receives the care she deserves. I couldn’t do anything less. Unconditional love as strong as that grandmother’s, is something that deserves acknowledgement and thanks. Not unlike God’s unconditional love for us. We know its there and give thanks for it. I’ll be back tomorrow evening with an update.
In all things give thanks,
(photos credit: Brandon Cunningham)