Surrounded by children coming from every direction, I tried as I might to blow a bubble. But I couldn’t do it.
Of course, I did my best to “milk it” for the crowd of onlookers seeking to get as many laughs as I could out of them. To see them laugh and smile for but a moment amidst all that I was seeing…
Amidst the tightly gathered crowd before me was a young child who stood out amongst them. He wanted to try to blow bubbles, too. So, I handed him the bottle and sure enough, he was excellent at blowing bubbles.
Our eyes locked as he wanted to be sure I was seeing that he was blowing bubbles. With not much to smile about, he cracked a grin that touched my heart.
And that’s when he did something I will never forget..
Amidst all of the activity from the other kids all around us, he wanted to communicate with me. With no translator, he then tapped his foot three times on the dirt ground. Getting my attention, he then pointed to his leg.
It was a large gash on his shin that was covered with flies.
I looked momentarily and then shifted immediately back to his eyes where we stood and stared at each other for what seemed like a million years as he frowned with such a defeated look of pain, irritation, and discomfort.
Inside, my heart was breaking. Out here hours away from anywhere, I felt helpless but to at the very least be there with him in that moment. A moment later, it was like a switch was flipped and he was back to blowing bubbles, playing, and having fun.
It was a powerful reminder to me of so many things I still, over a week later, am yet to grasp.
Frankly, it is in returning home and seeing and reading all the stuff I see posted here on social media of all the things from politics to whatever else that we get so fired up over that causes me to sit here, pause, and reflect on that moment.
I sure feel foolish for the stuff I get so fired up over. I mean, how many hills that were not worth dying on have I died on lately?
Perhaps in this, I best buy myself a bottle for me to blow some bubbles from. Maybe only then, I will remember that of which really matters.
Pondering my Rwanda experience..