Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Touch (the sense of touch) (08/05/10)
TITLE: Healing Touch
By Charlotte Leonard
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My first 9 months of life were spent in the hospital where I was born. The couple that adopted me said that I was not used to being held and when they picked me up I was terrified. In moments that gave way to fear that they would put me down and I wrapped my arms around their necks like a little monkey. After the initial papers were signed they drove straight to a hotel where they took turns setting up and holding me all night.
God knew what I needed most, and that was love. My adoptive parents had lost a child two years before, I was the answer to their prayers. Never was I made to feel like I was less than their own child, and to me they will always be my Mom and Dad. They were simple, country people who raised me with unconditional love and acceptance.
Still, I wondered about the woman who had carried me, given birth to me, then was able to walk out of that hospital alone. Did she cry? Would she remember my birthday? Do I look like her? All I had was the name on my adoption papers. But with Internet technology that was enough.
God's timing is always perfect. It was just before Mother's Day when I walked into the nursing home where my mother was. She had been strong and healthy, living on her own before falling and breaking her leg so severely it required amputation. She would need skilled nursing the rest of her days. The lady at the desk asks if she can help me and I tell her, “I am here to see my Mother”. Inside I am trembling.
She was sleeping when I walked into her room. Gingerly I walked around the hospital bed looking carefully at this stranger, my Mother. We did look alike! Her white hair was in loose curls, she had on pearl earrings and red lipstick that was smudged a bit at the corner of her mouth. Her left hand had a splint and the sheet lay flat below her hip, that is where her leg should be.
She stirred and opened her eyes, seemed delighted that she had a visitor. We made small talk for a few minutes and she apologized that she didn't have any coffee or cookies to offer me. “I've been out working in the garden all morning, I must look a mess.” It didn't bother me that she was not in total touch with reality. I believe sometimes that is God's way of making the last days easier. We talked without a trace of awkwardness and I found myself growing very tender toward her.
I knew this was the time. Carefully I took her right hand in both of mine and told her when and where I was born. Immediately she turned toward me, threw her bandaged hand over our clasped hands and cried out, “Oh, I just couldn't keep you and I have thought about you so many, many times!” Grace covered me from head to toe, none of my questions seemed that important anymore. She had spoken what I longed to hear for all those years and nothing else mattered. Love enveloped us as we embraced, our tears ran together then on to the pillow. They were tears of joy and tears of healing and they washed away our mutual pain.
She did not abandon me, she made it possible for me to grow up in a stable, loving home with parents that desperately needed a child to fill their lives. A precious gift to all of us. My rejection was gone, forever.
My Mother died three months later when I was on a mission trip to Indonesia. I didn't get to see her again, but God spoke to her heart and she prayed with me to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. We will have all eternity to get to know each other.
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