I spent this past week in Bogota, Columbia visiting Compassion International Projects. It was an emotional and draining week. I’ll start by saying how tough it was to not be with Amy when Carter had his stitches removed. You probably read in the previous post how that doctors appointment went. If not take a second and go back and read it. As I read Amy’s post and through a couple conversations (thank you Skype and Facetime) I was extremely home sick and disappointed to be the absent father.
Thanks to Delta for getting us home a little early last night and in time to spend a few minutes with the family before the boys went to bed. I will admit, my first reaction to Carter’s eye was not as favorable as I had hoped. I had thought I had prepared myself, especially after Amy had made the comment about his eye being “empty.” I wasn’t prepared at all. It made my heart sink and put a lump in my throat. Empty was a fitting word in describing his eye and the feeling I had.
warning: I’m gonna post a picture that isn’t all that gross but still a little tough to see. I went back and forth on posting it but many have asked to continue to post as many pics as possible so you can understand the situation and pray. Feel free to skip right past it and continue reading.
As tough as it was to see our sweet little boy not looking like himself, it took a matter of minutes before I was reminded of the Columbian children I had met this past week that understand empty in a totally different context.
Meet Christian: 15 years old. Said he was doing drugs and heading towards a life in the gangs. He was empty before he gave his life to Christ through his time at the Compassion project. Now he is a leader at his church and an example to his younger brother Kevin.
Meet Julian: 10 years old. Julian came up to me as soon as I got off the bus and he wouldn’t let go of me the entire time. When we left his Compassion project one of the staff members pulled me aside and said to me, “his life is empty with no friends and a horrible situation at home. Thank you for spending the entire morning with him.”
Meet Karen: 11 yrs old. Karen has a 15 day old sister (when we visited). She was heart broken as her father had recently left their family. She sobbed as one of the pastors prayed for her mom and family in the middle of this situation. Empty.
Carter’s eye does look empty. But these are three examples of the 57,400 children in Columbia that are being assisted through Compassion International and their work through the local church. To them empty means something different. I was overwhelmed and brought to tears many times this week as we experienced a country in need of help physically and spiritually. Empty, it’s really about perspective.