Thursday, June 25, 2009

(A Kind of) Death In Birth

orphan noun
1 a child whose parents are dead.
• a person or thing bereft of protection, position, etc. : radioactive wastes are the main orphan of the nuclear era. 2 Printing the first line of a paragraph set as the last line of a page or column, considered undesirable.

Willy's mother died from complications during childbirth. Bringing him--but not just him, also his three identical siblings, Theo; Idda and Stella-- into the world. They are orphans kept alive by the staff at the Berega Orphanage, in Berega, Tanzania, where they are provided with the necessities and nurturing needed in their crucial first years. Commonly, they are reintegrated into their extended families between the ages of 2 and 3.

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I complained to David that I just wanted to work in a field that I actually liked. One that I felt challenged me and stimulated me. One that ignited passion within me. He just smiled and comforted me as he usually does and sent me on my way, and when I got to work I found this article ( in the New York Times. I saw and read about Willy and Theo and their sisters and my heart clenched, or eased up as I read about their struggle and the success they have found with the help of the Berega Orphanage. They are not just given food and health care, they are shown and given love. They are challenged to develop relationships and maintain them. No one makes a huge profit, or is able to build their resume from their work there, or can claim any other fame besides a brief Times article, and no one takes from it the workers' names, anyway. We only remember the names and faces of Willy, Theo, Stella and Idda.

It occured to me, maybe just now, that I'll never find what I'm looking for where I am. I know I'll never find it on my own anyway, without God's guidance, but I'll never find what my heart longs for in an office such as this one, or behind a desk in a plush computer chair. I will always feel drained or bored or uninterested--despite brief periods when business or distraction give me the illusion of interest. My heart beats for the Berega's kind of service. Here I am given too much time and space to fill with my self, and my own ego, my own "stuff." I don't want any of it, rather, I find myself longing to watch children grow. These children. To play a part in all of it. To cradle a newborn baby in my arms who was welcomed into the world on the coattails of his mother's farewell. Whose hope brought on by new life was a mere spark in a shadow cast by his mother's death. To cradle that tiny bundle of life in my arms and demand that this one has value, matchless worth. That this one deserves a chance, deserves all the opportunity the world can afford.

After all, what relevance does a decent-paying job, or a mid-level position, or a mid-sized townhouse, or even the mountain of student-loan debt it took to lift me up to this level even matter? In the face of a life that has one small window, one opening to either bloom or be lost, how can I worry about the grip that Sallie Mae now (though it will always be something) has on me? I'm asking because I'd really like to know. I know all hearts don't beat the same rhythm, for the same reason but why do I feel so stupid to ask? I'm sick of ignorning these feelings, of fully feeling them, only to moments later cast them off as ridiculous, childish. BECAUSE, I say to myself, you have to pay your bills. And who will feed the dog? Gas is not going to pay for itself to be pumped into that tank. Silly Lia. But I don't want to care about these things anymore. I don't want to care if my credit is destroyed, because I don't want to have credit. I want to forget what credit is and how it could have once "ruined my life." I don't want to know, and I won't need to know because I want to be so far from the concept of credit and bills, in the town of Berega, in Tanzania, living blissfully unaware, in love and with reckless abandon of my old self, and my old selfish ways, and everything before, after and all the things in between.

1 comment:

David Dangelico said...

See I don't like blogging because you write stuff like this...and there's just no way in hell that I (or anyone) can compete.