Do You Love Him?
Over the four days spent in Haiti with Food for the Poor and the rest of the Nativity group, I experienced many emotions. There was disbelief, sadness, confusion, anger, hope, joy, and love as I took the time to interact with a country living in pure destitution.
During one of our visits to a Nativity Village one little boy, about 4 or 5 years old, took hold of my hand right as I climbed off the bus. He led me up and down the rows of modest homes. He took me to a large group of children where he wanted to join in and get his photo taken by another member of our group. Even in the crowd he clenched my hand so we would not be separated. After the group photo, he led me out of the crowd and we continued just walking hand in hand. Unable to understand each other’s language, we walked in silence. It was one of the sweetest moments of the trip for me.
After awhile an older boy, maybe 10 or 12, approached us. I had noticed him watching us from afar, but now he came up and asked me something in English.
“Do you love him?” he asked as he motioned to the little boy still clutching my hand to his chest.
“Do I love him?” I returned his question, surprised to hear this boy speaking to me in English.
“Yes. Do you love him?” he repeated.
My mind started racing. I had heard all the warnings about not giving out your address, email or phone number for fear of people showing up at your doorstep months later with their babies etc. Surely this young man was not trying to con me into taking this boy home with me, right? Maybe. Maybe not. Just as I started to panic, a sense of calm came over me.
“Yes, I do love this boy,” I answered. “And I love you. And I love all of the children in this village. Don’t you love this boy?”
“Of course I love this boy,” he replied. “It’s easy to love him.”
“It is,” I agreed. “Because he’s so little and sweet.”
“No, it’s easy for me to love him because we are the same color. But you, you are a different color from a different country, and you come here and you love everybody. How come you love us?”
Wow. His question was so much deeper than I initially gave him credit for. He didn’t want to know why I loved this specific little boy. He wanted to know why our group from Nativity cares for people so unlike ourselves. And in that moment I realized he was experiencing love from God through us. As the family of Christ we are called to love all people. And as I stood there still holding the hand of the little boy and looking into the face of the young man who noticed love– time stood still, and I felt blessed to be in the presence of God.