Perhaps it isn’t necessarily the American way to hear a man completely gush; pour out the truth in passionate detail of how he feels. But I’m not in America.
He never heard his Momma say she loved him until the day she died. He was 17 then. He had been away in a boarding school and she called him early in the month to say that she is getting weak and that he needs to come home soon. Her time was coming to an end and he could hear it in her voice. She asked of his exam schedule and he told her the date he would be finished. It would be December 17 that year. She said to him, “I will hold on for you until that day. When you come to see me I will take my last breath.” This wasn’t a date he was exactly looking forward to.
He showed up and listened to the blessings of his mother. She spoke so lovingly of him and to him. It was that day she finally said “I love you”. Words he had been waiting to hear all 17 years. The whisper left her lips and journeyed to his ears, reaching his heart and soul. As promised, she then took her last breath.
His Poppa died soon after leaving he and his brother desperate to journey for someone, anyone to love them and look after them; help them make a way in life; anywhere but the streets. But for a bit the street became home anyway. A series of divine helpers made their way into the life of this older boy while the younger had been taken in by someone temporarily.
The story is almost too remarkable to type. It sounds made up. It sounds exaggerated. But it is not. I know it isn’t. It involves angels of mercy, sightings of spirit agents of the Lord in the wild bush.
For a while he was permitted to sleep in a church if he would agree to open it up each morning at 4am for the morning prayer service. Not every Sunday. Every DAY. He agreed. After a while he was permitted to stay with a family that he knew who lived in a one room apartment. Every night he would go outdoors and pray for hours…into the wee early hours of the morning. The landlord could hear the prayers; day after day after morning after morning. After quite a while the landlord called to him to come into his own apartment with the family. He asked the praying boy to pray. He thought to himself, “there is not much I can do but I am always filled with prayer”. He prayed. They wept and were moved. The landlord then evicted one of the tenants and gave that apartment to the praying boy for no charge.
His story is full of twists and turns. I listened for two hours as the details were shared with the big finish…. “now, here I am”.
He’s a pastor now, very much against the grain of what he wanted to be. But if you could have heard the rest of his story you would see that God was not going to have it any other way. The praying boy had no choice but to shepherd a flock …in this present case a young flock of other orphans. I can only testify that He is always full of a powerful word and His love for Christ is infectious.
He gushes with the heart and truth of a child. He confesses his deep need to know who the people are in his life who love him. He crumbles (his word) if he doesn’t hear those words regularly (daily) from the people he has entrusted his heart to. Although it pains me to know he suffers so deeply in his heart when love isn’t announced….it teaches me something new into the lives of these kids. The only people in this life that you can trust (usually) to love you are your momma and daddy. Without them…. Well?
I am multiplying my “I love yous” in this place. Forever more.
i'll also soon have an update at www.jasperwalls.wordpress.com