There is an island not too far from here, where there lives a virus that has been mercilessly attacking the people. This thing is called Chikungunya and it is on a feeding frenzy. It picks on the weak, the strong, and everyone in between. Whole families, entire orphanages are ill. Chikungunya causes high fevers, mouth sores, and extreme joint pain. The effects of the disease are felt for days, weeks, months.
Oh those eyes. Be still my heart, those eyes.
On this island, there is one specific orphanage where this virus has affected every single child. Every. Single. One. Including this little one with those eyes. I’m sure there are other places where the same is true, but this place, this is the one that houses the children with whom I have laughed. We’ve snuggled and blown bubbles together and played games and attempted to navigate one another’s hair. This is also the place that is home to a dear friend’s son and daughter of the heart. It is agonizing to see her in pain, knowing that they are in pain. I cannot even begin to comprehend.
In each of my own children’s rooms hangs a baptismal banner. They all share the same verse from Isaiah 43, “I have called you by name, you are mine.” Perhaps I am wrong. I would love to be very very wrong. But I doubt that these children have an army of people praying for them by name, not like your children do, not like mine. In an effort to be something, anything other than utterly helpless, this is something we can change. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16
The names of each of the children at Josie’s House of Love and Hope are written below. Today, right now, take the name of one of these beauties, write it on your calendar, or on your bathroom mirror, or on the palm of your hand, over and over again, until you’ve written it on your heart. Then, pray. If you don’t know what to say, you can use the prayer below, or you can trust in the Holy Spirit who intercedes with groanings too deep for words. Choose one child. Share their name with a friend if it helps to hold you accountable. Do whatever you need to to remember. And pray.
His Girls, Our Girls
His Boys, Our Boys
Heavenly Father, You bring mercy to the merciful, food to the hungry, healing to the sick. Be with (my child) today as her little body, your remarkable creation, battles this illness. Be with Josie and her other caregivers as they seek to comfort your children while they feel the effects of this disease in their own bodies. Give (my child) the strength that can only come from you, ease her pain, and allow her a peaceful night’s sleep. Protect and guard her. Grant her healing, soon Lord, today. I pray your will be done and I plead for mercy for (my child.) Use the same hands that formed her to fully restore her. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Say it today. Say it again tomorrow. A million times. Until healing comes.
Lord, have mercy.