As Paul and I sit in Qavah's room taking our turn rubbing her feet and reading to her, we have been seeing subtle changes that have led us to believe that her healing is more than bone deep. A healing is taking place that reaches into her innermost being. She quietly began to tell me some things that were on her heart this afternoon that had been hidden in her soul.
Our conversation today began with Qavah saying, "I love you, Mama." Then she began to cry and confess things that she had done in the past that she felt terrible about doing. She told me how sad she was when she thinks about our dog, Ellie, who had to be put to sleep a couple of years ago because of her advanced age. She tearfully told me that she was mean to Ellie when I wasn't looking and asked me to forgive her. That confession led to more admissions of guilt in her actions and attitudes. I said, "Qavah, I forgive you, and Jesus does too," after each admission of sin. I felt so humbled because God chose me to be the one to forgive, and to assure her of His forgiveness. In her physical suffering, she has been brought to a place of complete dependence on us, and a new level of trust has begun. Today marks a new start in her relationship with me. She trusted me to hear her confession of sin, and that I would not cast her out. I am humbled by the actions of this little child today. I want to shower her with my love, and add to her blessings.
Suffering is a difficult teacher. But when suffering produces such goodness and beauty that it takes the breath away, it is a mystery why we choose to run from it. No one I know wants to raise their hand to the question, "Who would like to suffer today?" But suffering is like a seed, and it can produce fruit of the sweetest kind. For Qavah, who dared to show me the secret places of her heart today, her spirit is now at rest. A weight has been lifted from her shoulders, and a sweetness and lightness has taken its place. James 5:15-16 states, "And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed."