Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Pastimes to pass the time
Today was my first afternoon off, and did I enjoy it! I wandered over to the school yard, watched these boys play a few games or so, then meandered over to the orphanage and picked up a toddler or two. The latter was a rather overwhelming experience as I was literally surrounded by little boys and girls who were either shouting, "Dr Wong, Dr Wong, look at my wound!" or trying to climb on top of me. One cherubic soul named Jimmy Michael even attempted to pull the little girl I was carrying, Baby Sue, out of my arms so I would carry him instead. Failing that, he turned to rummaging through my pockets to look at my mobile phone, pen and so on.
It gives a whole new slant on what Jesus said in Matthew 18:3-5 "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me." and again in Matthew 19:14 "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." These sayings have always perplexed me; what does it mean to 'become as little children'? Some interpret it as cultivating a childlike wonder or point to their (supposed) innocence and others believe it to mean a position of humility and dependence on God. It could very well be all of them, and more besides.
In the meantime, may I make good use of the time I have with these kids. They have already been put through experiences that would test even the toughest of adults. I nearly teared up when Mama Lilly (one of the co-founders of Harvesters) described how she brought some of the children to the airfield and how they panicked when they heard the sound of the plane approaching and asked her, 'do we run and hide?' You see, they were used to the sound of bombers from the north (Sudan) flying over their villages. This is going only a decade back! A deep ditch still runs along one end of the orphanage, the remnants of the bunker they would use for circumstances such as the aforementioned one. It's crazy to think how we humans perpetrate such horrific crimes against one another; not just by what we do but also by our silence.