If you agreed with that statement, then don't read this. If you're having a great day and don't want to hear about babies dying of treatable diseases in Africa, then don't read this.
I warned you.
First though, let me tell you about So-dere. When I first met him, it was as a replacement to our first nightguard who turned out to be a real jerk. So-dere was everything the old guy wasn't. He showed up to work on time and never argued with me about stuff. He didn't sleep on the job, for the most part, because he was a dedicated student.
Why do we have nightguards? It's not like we feel like we're living under constant threat, but we do have more money than many of the people around which we live? It's hard for people to get a good job here, so we have that minimal protection from theft (didn't work once), but we also provide a job. It's a win-win.
But he's more than just a good nightguard. When he gets to work and we're working like crazy to get supper ready, because you have to make everything from scratch here, he plays with our kids.
When our longtime friend and houseworker of seven years, Angeline, died and her pre-teen sons needed a place to stay for a month, because their father was an abusive drunk, So-dere took them in.
He's the proudest Dagara father I've ever seen. When our teammates, the Johnson's, had a yard sale, he bought all their baby stuff. He was always asking Andrea questions about each milestone, and proudly telling us about things like when little Lorraine learned to crawl.
Last Wednesday, Lorraine was playing with her Dad and although she had had malaria earlier on Monday, she was acting like she was completely over it. Then about midnight they brought her to our house, and I helped them with a little money to take her to the hospital, but it was too late.
She was so beautiful. The Dagara have a custom that seems unusual to westerners where rather than laying the dead in a casket they will sit them up in a chair. It ripped my heart out to see her sitting there with such a beautiful little smile, but with no more life in her.
As much as So-dere doted on her, I know her heavenly Father
So, today, I'm reminded that today is the only day I have with my wife and two boys. I hope I get tomorrow and the next day. But I cannot hold those days in my hands. They are too far away. But I've got today right here, and I can grab it or I can walk right past it.
So this blog post, yes, is dedicated to the memory of the gloriously lovely little Lorraine that died last week. And yes, it is also here so that you pray for So-dere and Bridgite, her parents, who are obviously going through unspeakable pain.
But mostly, this blog post is dedicated to the ones I love. I really hope I don't dissappoint you today, Andrea, Daniel, and Dylan. It is my goal to do something today to make each of you smile, and to become a better listener, and to hug you as often as you'll let me.
What have you done for those closest to you today? Give them a hug and let them know how much you love them. Don't let today pass by. You might not get tomorrow. Then come and post a comment here telling me what you did. It will do all our hearts some good to hear that people are being loved by each other as much as our Father loves us.