There is always a part of me that longs to travel the world, and when I do, I often return home more heavy-hearted than I can imagine. But if you would have told me two years ago that China would be a portion of that reality, I would have politely disagreed.
It was never on my agenda. And honestly, even the first time I visited China, I returned home still a bit indifferent about this new place.
Until this week—when it became one of those places I love and long for after a return back home. It became one of those places that you can’t stop thinking of, dreaming of, speaking of.
One of those places where Jesus made his presence known as you cradled his children for hours upon hours.
This week it became one of those places.
And maybe it’s not necessarily a place—but a person. Because in every country there is that one person who slips into your heart like an unexpected rainfall. They slip right in and hold on tight, and your heart can only fathom one response—to hold on just as tight.
Or maybe it’s not the person—but the harsh reality of their stories. The stories that pierce your soul and leave you craving the mercy of a Savior—a mercy they already know.
Because when they tell you the children are named based off the orphanage they were raised in, and when they go out into the community no one will speak to them knowing they were raised as orphans—when you hear those stories—you can’t help but give your heart away.
So maybe it’s not the place or the person, or even the stories that make you fall in love.
Perhaps it’s even Him.
The One who created these children in the first place so that they might know, so that we might know the depths and widths of his unending mercy. Perhaps it’s Him.
And though we are smitten by their love, and moved by their stories, we must remember that perhaps it was Him who led us to the hard places—so that His name would be shared—both in their hearts, and in our own.
China has become one of those places. And a return to this endearing place will most definitely find a way into my life rather soon.
Because when He lets you love another one of his children, the opportunity is ours to dive deeply into.