I can still feel the weight of his body and the tightness of his skin. I can hear his crying and whimpering in my ears. I can still see the fear and pain in his eyes.
But today, all I hear is silence and all I feel is emptiness.
Just days ago I was holding this boy in my arms and praying for a miracle. I remember the little song I used to teach my children when they were young – that God always answers prayer. Sometimes he answers “yes,” sometimes he answers “no,” and sometimes he answers “wait…wait…wait,” but God always answers prayer.
But as much I believe that to be true, this was not the answer I was looking for. I just received news that Kevin passed away yesterday morning. That little boy who was still breathing days ago in my arms, is gone.
I knew full well that this was a strong possibility, but I had hope and I was praying for a miracle. So, what do you do with hope that has been crushed?
It reminds me of a story I included in my book, Awake.
A few years back, I had some photos on the wall of my office. They were of two boys who had been part of our child sponsorship program. Although the young boys did not know each other, they shared something horrible in common. During the same time period, they both committed suicide. Our help had come too late, and their traumatic childhoods proved too much to bear.
I kept their photos on my wall for some time to serve as a reminder, I wanted to “see”…I wanted to remember. If we truly see, then we really can help. We are not going to win every single battle, but sometimes the ones we lose inspire us the most.
I will keep Kevin’s photo on my wall and his story will be a reminder to me of why I do what I do and that the impact of our work is great, even in the midst of tragedy. It will be an inspiration to keep going so that for other children, we will not arrive too late, but we will arrive just in time.