I never want to become numb

I never want to become numb to this. How cute is he? (photo by Keely Marie)

It would be easy to turn off the emotions after leading and being on multiple trips with Compassion over the years. After all, I have seen poverty before…. many times, all over the world.

However, the day that I can look at a child who lives in poverty, and not feel emotion, is the day I don’t recognize Jesus in them.

It’s the day that I forget that those little hands and feet, those beautiful eyes, the little toes that squeeze through the holes of the worn out shoes, is a creation of God. It’s the day I forget that whatever you do to this least of these you do unto Jesus.

I never want to become numb when I meet a girl like Helen, the 10 year old child I met today.

After I visited Helen’s home, she clung to me. At one point I sat down, and Helen curled up under my arm. As she cuddled in, she placed her hand in mine. She laid her head on my shoulder and kissed my cheek. She sat with me all afternoon.

She didn’t demand all my attention, but she sat close.

Why did Helen love me like this? Why does Jesus love me like this?

Helen has six brothers and sisters and she has a good mom who wakes up at 4 am every morning to start the day. Her mom washes clothing to make a living. Her father is a farmer, but he is not home much. I don’t want to become numb when I walk through a home like this and I see the bedroom where Helen sleeps with her sister.

Helen and her sister sleep on wood planks without a mattress.

I don’t know why Helen clung to me. Maybe it’s because I visited her home and planted corn in her garden. Maybe it’s because I made a fool of myself playing games with her friends. Maybe it’s because she loves her sponsor and I was there instead. Whatever reason, she clung to me, and no matter what I did; Helen was at my side. Today, my heart was full of love for this little 10-year-old girl, and I was thankful to feel this love, to feel the pain of her poverty, and the desire to make her life better. I wasn’t numb.

If I stop shedding tears for the poor, I stop seeing them like Jesus.

I never want to become numb when a girl like Helen gives me a long hug goodbye, as if to say thank you, and then I see her wiping away her tears. She sees my tears too…and she knows that today, she was loved. A hard heart is not for me.

I never want to become numb for those things that God holds so close to His heart. These are His children.

These are the children from the Compassion center we visited today that need a sponsor. They need someone to love them too.

A video of our day is posted on this website where you can see Helen’s home, as well as all the other blogs. Check it out.

11 Comments on “I never want to become numb

  1. thank you for sharing…. I neve want to become numb either. I have never been out of the country. We looked at the children needing sponsors. We saw one little boy that we kept coming back to. We already sponsor 2 and correspond w/ 2 more. My husband said no at this time. My older children sponsor too. My 2nd born son… hasn’t sponsored and I so wanted him to sponsor “Edwin.” I know it is not something I can force.

    Praying for all of you….

    Also Isabel’s comment made me cry. I love her Shoes for Kids site. 🙂

    Much love~


  2. Praying for the whole team, just one great post after another on this whole trip, blessings to you all.

  3. I do not want to become numb either. I went to the Compassion site and began weeping..how do you choose a child??? It was too overwhelming. I prayed to have God show me one who needs me. The next child profile I clicked on was a 12 year old girl who shared my birthday!! I have now sponsored her…

  4. I am a missionary in Hungary and Romania. We work with gypsies and I see poverty every day. But, your post really touched my heart. I see it every day and I HAVE GROWN NUMB. I am ashamed of myself and repent of it. “I never want to become numb” is my new “mantra”!! Thank you for speaking to my heart.

  5. Friend, your words are beautiful. The words “I never want to become numb” have been ringing in my ears all day. Praying for you and the team.

  6. This is a beautiful post!

    I’ve seen poverty first-hand. I’ve been broken to the point of tears as I see living conditions of my brothers and sisters. It has now lost its shock-value. With every photo I see, with every home that I tour, with every child that I touch… I want it to be as though I am seeing poverty for the first time. I want to see those people and their living conditions the way Jesus does. “Break my heart for what breaks Yours,” I sing. And I mean it.


  7. Thank you for coming to Ecuador. My husband and I work here (Ecuador) as missionaries with the youth. It is a joy to know God can use your team to help when it can get overwhelming when living here day to day. Thank you!

  8. Oh, Patricia, this is so beautiful. I pray your words rub raw the callouses, big or small, of all who read it, so we can be tender to whatever it is God is calling us to do.

  9. Thank you for praying that prayer for me all those years ago. I never want to be numb! Beautiful post.

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