The Heartbeat

img_4544It’s 3am. Child #7 woke me up less than an hour ago, throwing up. On my bed. And on me. She’s miserable. We’re ‎all tired. Not my favorite way to start, or end, a day. But in the midst of this misery is a deep sense of how blessed I am.
You see, I live in America; Washington, to be exact. And I have running water, a dresser full of clothes, clean sheets in the hallway, and a washing machine downstairs. My precious daughter will not die of dehydration, and I will have the luxury of making up the sleep I am losing.
But I am keenly aware that for millions, such luxuries are simply beyond reach. For the average Ugandan, there is no running water (clean or otherwise), they don’t have ‎multiple outfits, or a bed to even put sheets on. Clothes get washed by hand. And sleeping in is not even a consideration. Survival is dependent on getting up and getting to work.
More than those basic luxuries, though, I think of my precious kiddos, several of whom have thrown up this week. When they have been most miserable, they have not suffered alone. They came looking for, and found, their mama. Their mama has been home to snuggle them, help clean them up after they throw up, to give them medicine so they can have a little relief, and to make sure they aren’t getting dehydrated.  Even though I am tired, such moments are treasures. Mamas love to care for their babies. It’s how God wired us. But not all babies have mamas who are so fortunate. Not all babies even have mamas…having seen that painful reality in Uganda this summer, my life will never be the same. 
So, lying here awake, in the middle of the night, I have to ask these questions…If my babies were sick and I couldn’t help them, what would I want someone to do? If my babies were miserable and I wasn’t available, what would I want someone to do? If my babies were dying and I had no way of caring for them, what would I want someone to do? I would want someone to help… so I must. Will you join me?

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