I had so many chills and tears after reading this story, I had to share it. Please go and read the ending, because it illustrates how music and worship created around the world is bringing glory to the Lord. Music did something here that medicine could not do, and as a nurse who is also a Christian, I think this story is especially important to me, and has helped me understand a little more my passion for music.
The following is a excerpt reblogged from Paul Baloche’s blog on LeadWorship.com. You can find the entire original post here.
Not too long ago, I was in Edmonton, Canada, at the Breakforth conference. After a songwriting session, a young woman came up to me and showed me some beautiful photos from Papua New Guinea. She had been involved in medical work in several villages. She told me how singing and songwriting had become an integral part of activities the villagers were involved in. Then, a few days later, she emailed me the story behind the story….
Dear Mr. Baloche,
The child with the painted face’s name is David, but it wasn’t that originally. He actually didn’t really have a name. See, he was born with Cerebral Palsy, and couldn’t move his limbs and doesn’t know how to talk. When his mother had him, the village thought he was born that way because he was cursed, and wanted to drown him in the river to lift the curse. His mother refused to kill him. She was the second of her husband’s three wives and was cast out of the family because they were afraid all their children would be cursed because of her act of defiance against the spirits.
So she was cast out of the village, and had to care for herself and her son across one of the rivers in a very small hut. No one would speak to her or interact with her, and when we arrived at the village they warned us not to cross the river because they thought we would be cursed too if we helped her. It’s sadly not an uncommon occurrence.
So I ignored the villager’s protests and concerns and traveled across the river to see what I could do for her. When I arrived, even she was afraid to let me see her son because she believed he was cursed as well. When I convinced her it would be okay for me to see him and discovered he had CP and there was nothing I could do to cure him, I spent some time talking to his mother about her situation. The little boy was so helpless and small, and I was so proud of her for choosing to take care of him despite what she lost. She clearly loved him, but it was obviously hard for her.
I told her – and the other curious villagers starting to arrive to see if I’d be cursed – about how it was a medical condition, not a curse, that made him the way he was, as well as how it doesn’t mean he is stupid or unable to learn. You could tell just by looking into his eyes that he knew exactly what was going on. It was hard to convince them all though. They kept getting upset and insisting that even if it wasn’t a curse he was still useless and just took food and water they had so little of to begin with. They said it would be better for him to die to save the rest of the village even just one more meal. If you knew how little food they have you’d understand that this kind of thinking really isn’t as callous and terrible as it sounds. It broke my heart to see their desperation and to look into that beautiful face and into his mother’s tearful eyes and not know how to explain the value of this precious child to God’s eyes and plans.
So I did what I always seem to do when I’m at a loss for words. I started singing.
“Open the Eyes of My Heart” was the only song that came to me on the spot, so I sang it as I exercised his limbs… and then, the next thing I knew, he was singing along in harmony. He couldn’t say the words, but he hit every note. The whole village stared in amazement. He had the sweetest little voice. And his eyes were so incredibly bright…
Read the rest of the story here.
And yes, my next Song & Scripture post will be the song “Open the Eyes of My Heart”!
In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. (Luke 10:21, ESV)