Baby Hope was examined by LWR's surgical team in the early part of 2019. Hope's parents sat by with much heartache and sorrow. Sharmila, her mother, would not look at anyone in the eyes. The tears seemed to be never-ending from her eyes. We never heard her speak that first day.
Hope had successful bilateral cleft lip repair at the end of February. Hope's mother still sat silently. She would not stay in the room, when others came to visit her baby.
I met her late April for the first time in Bangalore. She pulled up her chair, sat with us, and began to speak. Santhosh was astonished. "This is the first time I have seen you sit and speak to anyone. What has happened?"
She explained the torment and guilt and anxiety that had plagued her since baby Hope was born. She could not bear to see the faces of people who came to visit baby Hope. She could not talk. She would open her mouth, but no words would come. She would weep incessantly. Anxiety plagued her. She told us that she constantly felt overwhelmed and unable to speak. She did not want to unload on her husband, feeling that he did not need any more burdens. No one could help her.
But when Santhosh shared the passage of John 9 with her, the feelings of guilt began to lift. In that passage, Jesus answers a question that troubles parents even today. The disciples asked Jesus, "Who sinned, that this man was born blind?" pointing at the blind man on the side of the road. Jesus response is beautiful. "It was not the sin of his parents, or of this man, he was born this way so that God's glory would be manifest." The passage that had ministered to Santhosh and myself 19 years ago, still burns in us. It is a message of hope and comfort to the many parents we have ministered to over the years.
Sharmila told us that after her child's surgery, she began to transform. Instead of tears, she carried the oil of gladness. Instead of wearing heaviness, she wore a garment of praise. The message of John 9 had literally given her HOPE.
She is a beautiful mother of courage, strength and resilience. We honor all our mother's today for their boldness, their heart to persevere in spite of the heartaches. Our mothers all give us hope to move forward!
Happy Mother's Day!