I don't know if I've written about this before, but if I haven't I'm sure you've noticed it in some of the pictures. Abby has large deep red birthmarks that cover a good portion of her right hand as well as both feet. They actually start in patches a bit around her legs, and then cover most of her feet. They are not a sign of any underlying issue, and they cause no harm; they're just birthmarks. Her doctor had told us that it is something that could be removed by laser, and that a good time is usually when it starts to bother the child, probably around the pre-teen years.
Since I met Abby back in January, she had not discussed the birthmarks with me. She loves to wear dresses and never seemed to have any kind of concern about showing off her legs or her feet. I thought she was very oblivious to the birthmarks and not at all bothered by them. That is, until this week.
As her language skills progress, Abby can share more and more about her life in the orphanage. She is also able to ask more and more questions, which she does incessantly. She is especially curious about things having to do with God, as her brain is trying to wrap around this new concept of a God who loves her and knows her personally.
At some point in a conversation this week, it hit her that God created man.
She said "Mommy, God made man?"
I said, "He sure did, Abby."
So her next question hit me like a rock: "Why did He make my hand red?"
And I had to be completely honest with her "I don't know sweetheart. I really don't know. But I know that when I see you, I see a beautiful girl. I see your red hand, and I still see a beautiful girl. And God sees your hand, and He sees a beautiful girl."
Then, more heartbreak. She went on to tell me how the kids at the orphanage laughed at her and called her "monster". And all I could think is how I wish I'd been there to comfort her then.
I also went on to explain that the birthmarks can be removed. She was so happy she ran into my arms for a full hug.
I wish we had answers for all the hard questions. We don't. Hopefully, as she grows, in both years and faith, she can see things the way I now do. Hopefully, she can come to understand that this side of life is the battlefield. Things aren't perfect, they're not always pretty, and they most certainly aren't the way we would choose. There are wars, and poverty, hunger, and crime, and a great deal of unfairness. Sadly, Abby has experienced more of those negatives at her tender age than I care to think about.
But for those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, there is victory at the end of the battle. And we are blessed to know that ahead of time. We know what lies on the other side. And what a sweet day that will be, when we come to see our Father face to face.
And beyond that, we are not left to face the battle alone. We have the Holy Spirit within us to get us through this end of things.
P.S. I guess we'll be looking into that laser procedure a lot sooner than expected.