Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Monday, October 22, 2012

An Overdue Lullaby

(Just so you know from the outset I'm posting pictures here that may be emotional or difficult to see)

I've had a pent up lullaby in my heart for weeks, maybe months, building and growing. A song of love to be sung, looking for people who need singing to. It tumbled out today, soft and low. I knelt down beside metal cribs and held stiff hands and sang quietly, "Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain he washed it white as snow." I'm not sure why that song, it just bubbled up. Every one of the little ones I sang to  smiled and turned to me at the sound of the song.

As I sang I reached through the bars to touch them. Some flinched to be touched. Many smiled and made whatever sound they were able. Some grabbed hold and didn't want to let go. That was the hardest, prying their fingers off of mine.
There are 12 rooms, four to a room, beds filled with precious souls locked in a broken shell. We saw what looked like emaciated twelve year-olds who were actually almost as old as us. The workers do everything they can but it's not enough. Three workers for almost 50 immobile patients, I don't know how they cope.
All but a few drink from bottles a liquid diet that keeps them just alive. But these patients don't know how to chew and there isn't time to teach them, the risk of anything thicker is too high.
So legs that were made for walking are sticks so fragile they can easily be broken when they are moved. 

I can't be angry though. There was too much love on that floor. The story of twisted bodies, self injuring behavior, malnutrition, it's not the only story. A picture can paint a harsh reality but eyes that see bear witness to the other side. Nurse Lubitza blew kisses, sang songs, held hands, and loved on her residents. She is no ordinary woman and these little ones are blessed to have her as their caregiver. The staff knows the patients self injure because they need attention, are board and lonely. They know the patients need more, so much more than they can give and it frustrates them.

There are three working wheelchairs for 50 residents. Taking them to the bathroom to be bathed, or taking them outside in the fresh air occasionally is terribly limited because of the lack of equipment, not to mention the lack of hands. It isn't for an absence of care but rather a shortage of resources. And so they do what they can. They wipe drool and change diapers and smile and hope one day for something better.

Lubitza watched me sing and hold hands and bend low. She asked, "do you have places like this in America?" I told her I had never seen anything like this. She asked, "are there more like you, who would come and help us?" I told her I knew there were some who cared. Then she said, "You would be good at this, it takes a special person to do this job, you have a kind heart." Thank you Jesus! Best compliment I've ever received!

As I left she thanked me. "Will you come back," she asked. I hope so, oh, I hope so! Until then I will continue to pray, "But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;  you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you;  you are the helper of the fatherless." The job is beyond what one or even a handful of people can accomplish, but with God, now that's a different story!

{If you would like to be involved in helping the children of Serbia feel free to send me an email or facebook message. I'm working on a non-profit organization to respond to the need I found in the Dom Veternik mental institution. You can continue to follow that journey by subscribing to this blog or liking my facebook page.}


  1. You are the hands and feet and voice of Jesus. God bless.

  2. You are the hands and feet and voice of Jesus. God bless.

  3. You are the hands and feet and voice of Jesus. God bless.

  4. You are the hands and feet and voice of Jesus. God bless.


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