Journey to Africa. November 2, 2016
Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? (Mark 8:18)
On all saints day after celebrating mass with the African sisters of the immaculate heart, we visited a residential service for deaf children.When the gates to the program was opened and we walked through to the grounds, about 75 children of all ages ran toward us. They greeted us with overflowing joy, smiling faces and an energy and excitement that was irresistible. After this warm welcome they put on a performance of dance and song to entertain us.
I sat down with a small group of children. I used my cell phone and the few signs I know to communicate with the kids. They absolutely loved reading my questions and answering them as well as asking me some questions.
They especially liked it when I took their pictures on my cell phone and then show them what they looked like.I also spent some time doing some tricks with the little rocks I found under the tree where we gathered in the warm African sun. The kids were fascinated by my hair and wanted to touch it. They also did what all kids do and laughed heartily at my silly antics.
One of the boys asked me in sign languageif I could take him home with me. His pure innocence and openness opened me eyes and ears to see. The gospel words of Jesus came alive. This Young boy wanted to take a selfie with me and so I have attached Pat to this post. My experience at this wonderful Haven for children with special needs reminded me of all my life experience with people who are special. While the world often sees people with disabilities as people with deficits and who are in need, I have always seen Them as people can offer something to this world if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear. Maybe this is why Jesus told his followers to let the children come to him. Jesus saw in there innocent faces the goodness and purity of heart with which God created them and wanted his followers to open their eyes to see the same.
Prayer for this day: Lord give me the gift of holy simplicity. Let me see in the little ones, the little of body the little of mind and a little of wealth, your spirit. Open my eyes and ears to receive the good news from those who live life on the margins and work for just us so that all the little ones may have a place at the table of plenty. Amen.