by Lindsay White, missionary in El Salvador
The face is the visibility of the heart. I see many faces and hearts everyday: the faces of children peering through our window asking to play, the face of a friend laughing and joking with us in the street, the face of a child peering into mine as they run up to hug me in the street. But the face I see the most often is one that says “No me dejarás morir solo.” Don’t leave me to die alone. Don’t abandon me.
In the face of F., a girl of 15 whose mother abandoned her and her 2 sisters when she was only 6, this girl who has so many problems. In her face which tries to appear tough and indifferent but whose eyes are often filled with tears. She is saying, “Please, don’t leave me alone. Don’t abandon me.”
In the face of JL, a man of 87 who we bring to the doctor and help monitor his medications. He is a very happy man who loves to work outside, building boxes and other odds and ends. He has 3 children but they never visit him. He tells us, “I am so thankful for Heart’s Home because they are the only ones who care about me.” In our friendship with him I hear the plea “No me dejarás a morir solo.” Don’t leave me to die alone. Don’t abandon me.
In the teenagers here who turn to drugs, I hear the cry, “My life is so difficult. I want something different. I want to feel something different. Don’t leave me to die alone, please help me.”
Isn’t this the cry of all of our hearts? This is the question we all ask and Christ answers YES. My mission here is quite simple but also challenging. It is to say with Christ, “I accept you as you are- with all of your problems, with all of your strengths and joys. I am here. I will not abandon you.” I think that the simple fact that our house has been here for 21 years - and hopefully through the grace of God many more- says that we are here. We are here in the neighborhood where no one else wants to go. We are not going anywhere. We are present. Christ is here.