We don't always think of how much our words can effect others. We know that physical abuse can leave scars, but we don't always think of the lasting effects of our words on people. How they can become a tape player that plays non-stop in their minds. Magnifying their insecurities and the lies that we believe.
These boys have suffered both. Their bodies are riddled with scars from being burned, cut, beaten, chained. But we can't see the recordings that play in their mind, all day every day, so much so that sometimes I forget that it is there. But it is there. Telling them they are nothing, unloved, worthless, rubbish, thieves, thugs, animals, stupid, unwanted, etc.
It isn't easy to get those recordings to stop, and when someone tells them something different than what they have been believing, it is earth shattering.
On Monday, one of the boys was too sick to stay at school. He lived on the street for 7 years until we brought him home a year ago. He has been in prison. He has been beaten. He has stolen and sold drugs to survive. He has beaten others, just so he wouldn't be. He hated his family and refused to ever see them again. Even in the beginning he told me they were all dead. But all I see is this funny kid whose laugh makes me laugh. Someone that is trying his hardest to fit in to his new life. Someone that is so protective. Someone who I love more than anything and get the joy of watch him become someone new, apart from who he was.
On our way home Monday, he just started talking which he doesn't do much. He has recently returned to his village, twice now, and surprise! his parents were alive. Anyway, he made the comment that even though he loved his mom so much, that she had many other kids so she couldn't miss him. My heart broke. He suggested that I was the same. That I couldn't possible miss him because I had too many other boys.
For one to think they are so unspecial, easily replaceable, and unmissable is probably the saddest thing I have ever heard. This kid brings joy to my life. JOY. And he doesn't see it and doesn't believe it. He says he knows he is loved, but still believes he is so easily forgotten. Replaced. The whole way home, I reassured him that I loved him and always would and would miss him terribly if he wasn't with me. But it was when I looked at him and told him that I chose him because I wanted him that his mind was blown. I told him that I could have said no in that doctor's office, but I knew he was to be mine and wanted him from the beginning and that no one ever could replace him in my heart, no matter how many boys there were. He was the only him.
That is all all of us want though right? To be chosen, to be wanted, to be needed. But for most of us, we know that is what we deserve. But for these boys, they were never chosen. Never wanted. Never needed. So easily replaced. Never missed. It was an earth shattering moment for me also. Will you keep all of them in your prayers? That they would know they are worthy, chosen, wanted, and needed? That the endless negative recordings would be drown out by love and the truth?