Feb 28, 2011

Mending Lil Hearts

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart by The Bee Gees

My good friend AV and I shared many things. Friendship, good food, recipes of our family and prayers. We are both Christians, and though the miles separates us, we kept each other in prayer. For good things, and for bad. She lives in California, USA now. With her husband, her daughter and her family. Over the past year, she shared with me of the tears she has wept silently for her daughter and her grand children. Because her daughter is going through divorce and breaking the family.

I remembered some years back she told me that she is packing up to move to USA. To live with her daughter, her son-in-law and the children. Because she hopes to help them to take care of the kids while they go out to work. AV has an apartment in Singapore where she lives with her husband. She comes back to Singapore every year and we would find time to meet up, to chit chat and catch up too.

Of late, she tells me about things at home. Moving house, moving out of the home that her daughter and ex-husband used to live together..making it perfect for their children. Now, its broken. Left, right and center.

While many would pray for the families and helping them to cope in a foreign country, I said my prayers for her grand children instead. As it reminded me of the many little hearts I had to help to mend.

The children suffered more when parents are divorced. Before Kitchen Capers and even before Benny, I use to be a counsellor with my church..to kids from broken homes, broken families. Its painful to see them. They don’t cry, because they don’t understand what is happening. And if they cry, their tears are not wiped from their hearts. Its a life long trauma for some of them which they carry with them all through their lives. Some do get healed, some don’t. In their broken-ness, some of them found God. Only He can healed them. Some didn’t.

My church send me for a professional Counselling course at The Singapore Bible College. Although I was trained to be one, I dabbled on the side when I used to serve in Sunday School as a teacher there. I have always loved children. Broken or whole. The word "Broken" here means Hurt emotionally, not physically.

I find children between 2 to 5 years of age are the most difficult age to 'mend'. They are too young to understand the adult world and why things happen and why their parents argue all the time. Not that when they are older, they understand better. But explaining to them even in layman or kid's tone, its very difficult. Each child is unique. Each child mends in a different way.

Some will take alot of soul searching, some look like they already healed. No one knows till their character shows up.

And if they cry, you know they are starting to heal. Its only when they don't, the pain seems un-mendable. If there is ever such a word "un-mendable". I have seen a boy aged 3 going on 4 years old going through his parent's initial stages of divorce. He cannot understand why and what. There are questions he wanted to ask them but afraid to do so. He would hear them shouting at each other all the time. When he comes near them, they kept quiet for a while but chided each other all the time. He went on, not able to understand what is happening and why it was happening.

I remembered he came to my class in Sunday School. He was a bright boy. During class, he listened attentively, and would do all the arts and crafts with so much joy. But when we sat down to pray, he would be silent. And when all the children are supposed to say "AMEN", he would not say it. But I could see the pain in him. Somehow he was trying to reach out to God.

I had time which I took and spent with him. Just him and me. In the garden behind our church. I would tell him things I liked and things I hate just to draw him out of his shell. He wouldn't talk. Sometimes he look like he was thinking of something else. Sometimes he would just sit there, on the swing with me. Quiet, forlorn. I prayed for him all the time. Because I don't know what is wrong. He wouldn't tell me. He wouldn't talk. And it hurts me so much to see him like that.

We spent many Sunday afternoons after church in the garden behind our church. I remembered I used to hum to him that good old Kid's praise by Psalty "Say To the Lord I love you". Then one sunday, I taught the kids to sing a new song..and it was this song

Say to the Lord I love you..

Suddenly from behind, he would dash across the hall and rush up to me at the stage. He snatch the microphone from me and started singing "I love you, I love you, say to the Lord I love you!"

We all clapped for him, because all of us who has been his Sunday School teacher never heard him speak, much less sing. After the praise session, I took him aside. It was then he opened up and pour out all his hurt, his pain and all his tears to me.

And he told me what happen. And in his child like manner he said to me..and those words followed me all my years after that. And every time I hear of someone who is going through divorce and they had little kids at home, my heart goes out to the little ones, than to the adults. This is what he said to me : (his name is Dwayne. He should be in his early 30s now)

"Aunty Gina, my mama and my papa doesn't love me anymore. because Dwayne is naughty. Dwayne go to kindy school and come back and mama and papa fight and shout. mama sleep one room, papa never come home to sleep. Dwayne sometimes sleep with ah ma(granny). Mama never talk to Dwayne anymore. Dwayne try to be a good boy. Aunty Gina pray every Sunday, thank God and say Amen. Dwayne don't want to say Amen because God make mama and papa sad and angry everyday. Dwayne don't want to thank God. God is no good."

I cried when he said that. And when he saw my tears, he started to cry too. And he said to me :

"Aunty Gina love Dwayne or not? Dwayne don't say AMEN but Dwayne keep the colour pencils and the art book. Dwayne help Aunty Gina to keep the bible and the chairs. Dwayne has no friend. "

I spend many Sundays mending him. Reassuring him that God loves us all. And got the help from our church pastors we went to see his parents. We didn't fix the divorce but his parents came to an understanding and kept their cool and pretended to be happy with each other just to put him back on track. But deep down, his parents still hate each other. But for their son to heal, they have to work together for him.

Dearest Dwayne,
I do not know what becomes of you now. I knew after the church spoke to your parents and they make good of things for you. You did well in school, became 'normal' and happy again. You have taught me so much about understanding, about loving someone and caring for someone. Aunty Gina is still the same person. Maybe older. But wiser. And all the years, I have not stopped praying for you. And if you are reading my blog by chance, I hope to meet you again.

In many ways, I never ask that my girls follow my footsteps or do what I do. But God spoke to Natasha somehow..and now Natasha reaches out the little hearts in the church she worships at. And she now studies Psychology in the university. She hopes to graduate and practice that...to mend hearts..and to renew someone's soul.

on the side note, I have met the little hearts I mended over the years. Young ladies, young men. Aspiring youths. I quit counselling after my girls went to school. And when I started Kitchen Capers, I continue to share. Not just recipes of food lost in time but also love for the lost.

May you find comfort knowing God hears you from where you are. And when you thought to yourself "Where is God when it hurts?". He's there...He never push His way into you, but silently behind you, supporting and waiting for you. Sending Angels in your way in things you do every day. Dropping love in places and things you never thought would appear.

God Bless you..AMEN!


Tania said...

always very heartwarming and touching to read your blogposts....

Dan Ng said...

Amen...May our Lord continue to guide Natasha to reach out for more people out there!