I know having favorites is generally frowned upon. However, there is this young girl who is about 13 by now, who completely stole my heart.
Her name is Liezbeth.
She was three when I met her during my stay in Bolivia. Most children are pretty passionate at age three, though their personalities channel that zest in different ways. Liz wore her passion on her sleeve. And all over the room.
Tia Fabiola used to set her up on top of a play house in the classroom so that she would be forced to sit still. She was perched up there like a bird in a cage, knowing she couldn’t escape. But even the caged bird sings.
I remember being SO excited one day when Liz jumped up in my lap, because she was not a cuddly type of girl. I was like, “finally, I think we are connecting a little bit.” Alas, she only wanted my gum. And she proceeded to grab it right out of my mouth while I was trying to ask her what she wanted.
She wanted my gum, not my attention.
I recently got back in touch with Tia Fabiola. She let me know that Liezbeth and her family no longer live in the prison – dad was released about a year ago, so Fabiola has lost touch with them. They live out in the Bolivian countryside somewhere.
There are hopes and dreams I have for Liz: I hope she knows what a gem she is, I hope she lets Jesus heal the parts of her heart that have been broken into pieces during her first 13 years on this earth. I hope I’ll see her in heaven, because I don’t think we’ll see each other again before that day. I dream that she’ll be strong and know that her identity is Christ, not in anything or anyone else.
When I was regaining strength after being in the hospital in Cochabamba, I read Psalm 139 almost every day. The pastor from the church I attended came to visit me once I was home, and he prayed for me. I felt so vulnerable and so safe at the same time. I was far from home, but close to my Father's heart. Life is so fragile.
My prayer today for Liz is Psalm 139:
O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.
This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me. If I try to hide in the darkness, the night becomes light around me. For even darkness cannot hide from God; to you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!
How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me.And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!
Surely you will slay the wicked, Lord! Away, bloodthirsty men! Begone! They blaspheme your name and stand in arrogance against you—how silly can they be? O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I be grieved with them? Yes, I hate them, for your enemies are my enemies too.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.