I never took a picture, but the image is emblazoned in my mind. It happens many times when we are in the Philippines.
There is a gentle knock at the door at the other side of our quarters that interrupts our side by side writing. We both know who it is. Both of us recognize the barely audible knock. While I keep typing, Faylene smiles, slides her chair back, gets up, and turns around to go to the door a few feet away. She gently opens the door and leans forward toward the little one who is standing at the entrance. I cannot see Faylene’s face or the little one, but I know both of their expressions. I have seen them many times. Faylene talks softly to the little one and explains that she has to work for awhile before she is free to bring the little visitor inside.
Then it happens.
The talking stops and Faylene’s arms reach down to encircle the little girl. Two little brown arms and hands reach up and around Faylene. I don’t see either of their faces. I only see the back side of my wife as she leans forward to give the little one a hug. Those two little arms and hands reach around Faylene as far as they can go. After a few seconds, Faylene says good by with a gesture, often blows kiss, gently closes the door, and returns to her seat beside me. Her expression says it all.
I always want to take a picture but I get caught up in the scene as those little arms reach up and around my wife’s waist as far as they can go. It’s a picture of a mother’s love toward a little orphan girl, whose desire for the love of a mother is met — even if it is only for an instant.
There are lots of “instants.” There will be more.
Nearly every time it happens it reminds me of a simple verse in Luke 14 from the One who promised us something similar if we call on Him: “I will not leave you as orphans.”