Pint-Sized Miracle

There are times when we need miracles to ponder – to remind us of what’s important, to encourage us, to make us kneel in amazement. Lillian Trasher Orphanage in Assiut, Egypt serves hundreds of children and adults and is a place of many such miracles. My friends, Michele and Joseph, have a family connection with the orphanage and visit there often. The following happened just this week during their scheduled visit to Lillian Trasher.

The Big (Pint-Sized) Miracle in the Lillian Trasher Orphanage (Egypt) by Michele Rigby.

About 4 years ago, when we were visiting my in-law’s orphanage, we saw a little baby that had recently been brought into the home. She was literally at death’s door. Her mother died in childbirth, and her father kept her until she was about 10 months old but realized she was dying.

He brought her to the home and said, “She’ll probably die but we brought her here anyway.” She was in such poor condition she looked like a newborn weighing only a few pounds. This baby was tiny, dirty, in pain, completely malnourished and diseased with significant problems with her colon. I don’t think I took a picture of her while we were there because she looked so bad and it was a sad situation.

Last night we went down to the toddlers section and passed out chocolates. The 2-4 year olds were so cute and so fun, but one little girl really caught my attention. She looked familiar, but I wasn’t sure why. She threw herself into my arms and had the widest grin you can imagine. She was all smiles and laughed at everything I did.

She was “pure sugar.”

We went back down again tonight because I felt I needed to see her again. I asked the girls in charge of the babies, “What is her story?” I found out that SHE WAS THE BABY that we had seen when we visited the orphanage. I almost burst into tears. It took everything I had to hold the emotions back. It was a miracle before my eyes.

This beautiful, bright little girl must be God’s beloved because he saved her from death and she is thriving. Though she looks like 3-4 years old, she is actually about 5, so she is smaller than she should be. Regardless, she is well, happy–and probably the most joyful child there. When she saw me the second time, she came running into my arms. I wish I could take her home–I would in an instant if I could.

Truly God loves these children and uses them to affect me (and thousands of others) in a profound and lasting way–Nothing like a tiny child to bring you to your knees. I am praying that she has a long, beautiful life and brings many people to the knowledge of God through her story and her precious (and infectious!) smile and spirit.

Seven Point Four Pounds of Perfect

She’s perfect. All seven point four pounds of her

Her soft baby skin swaddled up in a light baby blanket; her perfect face peeking out, a head of dark hair covering her soft spot. Her eyes, though closed, scrunch up as though she is trying to make sense of this world she has come into. Her tiny mouth purses then her lips curl up as if in a smile. Medical experts claim they don’t really smile at this age – and mothers nod, knowing the experts are a bit text-book and theory crazy.

She’s less than 24 hours old and has ten fingers, ten toes and a perfect suck reflex. She’s as perfect as the pink rosebuds on the coffee table just beginning to open, gifts from a family friend.

As I hold her I know that I am holding a miracle. A miracle; “God’s opinion the world should go on”.*

Outside the world is raging. During the hours since her birth Syria is ravaged by internal conflict, a bomb goes off in Afghanistan, people argue ‘personhood’, and humans that at one time were new-born infants bash each other with guns, swords and words.

But inside a new-born baby is held, perfectly formed and known by a God who still believes that this world is worthy of being redeemed. She is entrusted to, and loved by, an imperfect family and friends; people who will hold her and teach her, love her and cry with her.

And as I hold her I am in awe – in awe of baby soft skin and seven point four pounds of lovely, in awe of the strength and fragility of life, in awe of my friend who gave birth within five minutes of arriving at the hospital. Mostly in awe that somehow God believes that we in our human frailty, born as helpless babes are worth redeeming.

She’s perfect, seven point four pounds of perfect.

*Carl Sandburg