He wears a little red sweatshirt with the hood up.
I watch him come out from under the bridge and climb up the edge of the canal.
“Hermanita!” He says and flashes me a huge grin. He plops down on my lap and I wrap my arms around the tiny eight year old as his arms wrap around my neck.
“How are you doing little one?” I ask him and he sticks out his bottom lip and sighs.
“Not so good. I think I have a fever. See?” And he pulls my hand up onto his forehead. I feel the night air and look down at my little guy in the red sweatshirt and my heart hurts. I wish I could take him home and tuck him into bed and shower him with all the love he deserves.
“Hermanita, I love you a lot.” He whispers to me and kisses me on the cheek before he climbs back into the canal.
These little ones have stolen my heart. They have faced so much hurt and rejection in their short lives. Yet they are resilient and brave.
I watch as the little red hoodie disappears from sight into the dark shadows and once again I am left wrestling with so many emotions. A huge love for this little one. Hurt as I see up close the suffering and injustice he has experienced. And hope knowing that only Jesus can truly heal the hurt this little one has faced.
Again and again the Lord reminds me to trust Him and wait on Him. I see where God has placed us. He has called us to go to these dark places and LOVE.
To love no matter the cost.
To love even when there doesn’t seem to be any change.
To love with His unfailing love.