Imagine you suddenly were forced to leave your house behind. All you could take is what would fit in your car. And when you got to where you were going you and your family and all your worldly possessions would be would be living in a tent. There is no electricity in your tent, no running water. Outside there is noise and chaos and its probably raining. Your children are cold, everyone is hungry. The people in charge are rude and rough and don't have any answers for you. This goes on for days, weeks, months, years. Now this tent is your home and there is no end in sight.
Tonight as I was driving home from work I heard an interview with a Syrian woman living in a refugee camp in Jordan. She and her 5 children left because all the houses in her neighborhood had been shelled and destroyed. So in desperation she left. She can't go back to her home and the Jordanian government won't let her leave the camp. She is trapped...in her tent.
It made me think of all the women living all over the world in similar circumstances. In Haiti, in Somalia, in Congo.
Haven's mother was just like this woman. She was living in a camp. Her husband was missing, presumed dead. She was pregnant. One day she got up and walked away. She didn't have any family, she didn't have any future, she didn't have any reason to stay. So she walked away. She walked about 500 miles, she gave birth to Haven, and then she died.
Thank God for her spirit. Thank God for her drive. Thank God she had the strength to walk away and give Haven a chance at life. What would his life have been like if he had been born in that camp. Would he even be alive today?
I know I've a written about dozen variations on this post, but humor me.
Look around the room you're sitting in right now, where you are reading this post on your laptop or smart phone. Where you are sipping a warm cup of tea or a cold glass of water from your kitchen. In a few minutes you'll be getting ready for bed. You'll sleep in on a comfortable mattress with clean sheets. In the morning you'll take a warm shower, you'll have your choice of a dozen outfits to wear and almost as many cereal boxes to choose your breakfast. You'll drive to work in a car that's not more than few years old and you'll get angry about the traffic or how they got your order wrong a Starbucks.
We have so much, we throw so much away, we take SO MUCH for granted.
So tonight, take a few minutes and put yourself in her tent. And if you're inclined, say a prayer for her tonight.
Then look around again and ask yourself "Is there room for one more in my home?" Is there room for someone like Haven, whose mother tried her best, but lost her life in the effort. Is there room for a child who might otherwise live out their days in an orphanage? Maybe that's better than a tent in some ways, but I can tell you it can be far far worse.
Is there room in your heart to love a child who doesn't have anyone else in the world left to love them?