• February 13, 2014

How can I help these children?
What can I do?

Kelsi’s community
and some of their little friends

By Kelsi Holmes, on mis­sion in Madras, India

“Every Wednesday after­noon, we visit a home for men­tally dis­abled chil­dren. While the chil­dren are phys­i­cally cared for, they receive very little atten­tion and even less love. We arrived one day to find all of the chil­dren in one room with no music, no games, no toys… they sat qui­etly looking slightly dejected. As soon as we entered the room and sat on the floor, the chil­dren sur­rounded us. They wanted to hold our hands to touch our arms and faces, to sit in our laps, they asked us to sing to them. And so we began the seem­ingly impos­sible task of giving love to each one of them. Seemingly impos­sible because some of them do not speak or com­mu­ni­cate in any way, some of them speak but cannot be under­stood, some are vio­lent in their primal cry for love.

A boy of about 5 or 6 years old came to sit with me one day. He did not speak to me as he laid his head in my lap. He did not ask me for any­thing as his hand sought mine to hold and to be held. For one hour, this little boy did nothing but sit with his head in my lap while holding my hand, obliv­ious to the other chil­dren as they fought for a moment of my atten­tion. The look on his face was a com­bi­na­tion of sad­ness and com­fort and it was clear that this con­tact, this pres­ence, is what he lacked and also what he needed. My heart cried out to the Lord asking “What do I do? How can I help these chil­dren with whom it is impos­sible even to speak? What can I do?!” As we were leaving, I shared my thoughts with my com­mu­nity sis­ters. “There is nothing we can do, we must simply be with them. All that we can offer them is our love and that is all they ask,” said Lata. It was the first time that I had come face to face with the charism of Heart’s Home; the charism of simple love and com­pas­sion. The only thing we gave to these chil­dren was our time, our atten­tion, and our love… yet I could see in their joyful expres­sions as we sang to them and held them in our laps that it was truly all they needed from us.”

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