Saturday, May 06, 2017

One In A Billion




















All of us will have extraordinary people who cross our paths in life. This is one from my of. It is from August 21, 2010, soon after my return from China where I spent almost four weeks in rural part of Hunan Province, working at the North Canton Christian Care Center.

I've never used close to this many pictures in an entry before but this is no ordinary entry. You see, in China, I encountered the most fascinating person I have ever met in my life. Several times before, I've mentioned him but I wanted to put it all together. His name is LoBow and I have no idea if that is even a correct phonetic spelling. He is nine years old and has been at the orphanage for one year. His father is dead and his mother has psychiatric problems. LoBow does not speak; sometimes, he blurts outs sounds no one can comprehend. He scribbles in a notebook for hours in a language only he knows. In the US, people would probably think him autistic. Apparently, his mother never taught him anything and he has never been to school. LoBow has no sense of danger. Twice, I found him carrying around old razor blades; who knows where he found them in this very old facility. Once, the girls took him off the wall that is studded with broken bottles and shards of glass to keep others out. He was fascinated by my Mennen Speed Stick and loved having me apply it to his arms. I tried to teach him how to play Ping Pong; he could hit the ball from his hand but not when it came at him, even very slowly. He is very affectionate and loves to be picked up and carried. Sometimes, he would come to our English class for the younger kids and would color with us. He never grasped the concept of staying within the lines... or maybe he thinks the concept is flawed. He has very little sense of awareness as most children of his age do. We were swimming in a river, and suddenly, we looked up and he was walking along the bank, stark naked. LoBow latched onto me: he would knock on my door and window, wanting to play but at other times, he simply ignored everyone. He can make anything a toy; I watched him spend almost an hour making a stick and cassette tape into a bow and arrow. He has a mischievous side. Once, he threw a bowl of water on me when I was washing clothes in the sink. Another time, he took my keys and threw them thorough a broken screen into a locked room. On both occasions, he was smart enough to run away! I have to confess I was slightly perturbed for about thirty seconds both times.

Often, I caught myself thinking he must have very little thought process but he knew to take his shoes off when he entered the room for a devotional. Once, I was in the classroom preparing to teach and I saw him writing his nonsense symbols on the board. Then, he would hit the board with a fly swatter. I thought it was odd until I realized that is how I taught songs to the kids; writing the English words in chalk and using the swatter as a pointer. He was simply imitating me.

I wonder if he will remember me when, Lord willing, I return next summer. To me, there is one big thing in the story of LoBow. The director told me he has made remarkable strides in the year he has been with them. The reasons are simple; love and attention. And if a child like LoBow responds to affection, isn't it likely most children will? Jesus wanted little ones to come to him. I think He still does. There are millions of children standing in line.

God bless,

Steve
Luke 18:1

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E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com