Theology in the Trenches: Greetings Little Brown Eyes

Kathleen Kjolhaug
Religion Columnist

The gritando (crying) begins. It commences full force in the early morn. Quiet spills round wrapping the screaming child in its arms as peace be still calms. Last night’s rain is still dripping from mango leaves, reflecting shades of deep green covering campus.

Birds echo all around and can still be heard above the cries. The cries, like part of nature’s chorus, rise as in prayer. Voice welcomes the day like echoes of mercy, whispers of love. This is their story, this is their song ... praising their Savior, all the day long. 

Arched palm branches bridge the gap house to house ... home to home. Bowing majestically a canopy of coverage beckons ... come to the quiet. Pain seers, but it no longer lingers. It has pierced His hands, feet, sides ... it need not crucify. He died once and for all. The theology of the cross allows us to take Him at His Word ... live it ... put it on ... wear it. For what good is faith if we merely name it, know it, but do not pick it up and put it on?

Cleansing to clean from all unrighteousness is what He does, has done, and will continue to do. No longer remembering our sins as far as the east is from the west ... therefore, who am I to dig them up? How freeing it is to breathe in brand new the daily joy poured out. It rains as He reigns, and so it goes.

Shirk off the slumber as I awaken my child ... is what He whispers. And the children awaken as that which has carried them to this place not only rouses, but lifts. The caregivers have been given this calling. They lift. Those who have laid down their lives to serve the children truly become His hands and feet as they gather the children. 

It’s a beautiful thing this calling. To be grounded is sacred. Grounded in His Word, grounded and poured out, grounded and sifted through His fingers with love makes for a worthy calling. How majestic is His name.

“Into His hands I commend my Spirit” (Luke 23:46) is lived out as “not my will but Thy will” (Luke 22:42) bridges those who partake ... until He comes again.

The workers in the field, on the compound, within the street, and right around the corner breathe life into the children so they might live. Perhaps the workers live out this call while going home each night to their own family nearby. Perhaps they will live out this call by walking several miles daily to the compound on which the children live. Perhaps they are called far from their native homeland to carry out the duty of loving in order to help build a foundation strong enough from which the children may one day launch. Regardless, they are called and they come.

The children, in turn, because they have been lifted up, will one day be able to lift up.

“For such a time as this ...” (Esther 4:14). Amen.

(Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)