Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury,pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Saturday, September 1, 2007

To help versus to assist....

I was at Daya Dan for almost 12 hours today. My heart is so full right now. I rode home on the Metro with this Italian guy who has been working at Daya Dan for 6 years. It is so wonderful to watch him with the kids (not just because he is Italian...) because of his compassion and dedication. I can see that he gives all of himself totally everyday. We talked about how we are not helping these kids. We are assisting them. He said if he came to me for help, I would give it and he would be on his way. But the kids do not go on their way. They continue to need more, so it is a continued assistance that we give. I thought this was an interesting way of looking at my time spent here and really what I want to do with my life in general.

I have always said that I want to help people. But I see now that that task of helping would require much more than I have to give. What I can give to anyone whom I meet is my assistance and that way I know that I will always be keeping them going along their path.

He also said that in places like America or Italy where we have people specialized to care for children like those at Daya Dan, we do not know how to share all of the love that God has given us like we should. Unless you work with such special hearts you may not ever know what it is to give this kind of love. But now that I have seen what my heart is capable of, I am more able to go back home and be able to use my heart for what it was made for. I think maybe mothers know this kind of love and they have stretched their hearts in this way. I know that as I sit here with tears coming now thinking about having to leave behind this three-year-old boy with Down's Syndrome, who cannot walk, talk, stand, crawl, or eat on his own, I feel my heart has changed a little bit. It is not where it needs to be, for this would take saintliness, but it is different than when I got here.

I feel God truly working in these children. If someone asked me what is the point of God making people deformed and helpless, I would answer that it is to teach people to love.

I am so thankful that I have been given a chance to assist these children in their lives and to feel love in my heart because of them.

"Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."


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