Okay…I confess…I can be brought to tears fairly easily. I cry when I hear a sad song on the radio. I cried when Simba raised his new baby cub into the sky at the end of The Lion King. And yes…I still have a hard time when Bambi’s mom dies. I even cried during Hannah Montana:The Movie, when Miley sang to her Dad. I think my kids were worried about me.
Most of these tears are sentimental. But there are times when tears come from a completely different place inside of me. They are different. They are born from either deep grief or joy. They come when I receive a report of a specific child who has been trafficked and exploited. They have come at times when reading an article on child slavery or while hearing another staggering statistic. But they have also come from seeing a child in our safehome smile again. They come from hearing spontaneous laughter and singing from children who are getting their lives and childhood back.
This morning I received an update on our girls in the Love146 safehome in the
“I asked the girls to plant certain plants in places in the Round Home."
"And when they finished…
"I asked them to walk down the path and get in touch with how it makes them feel.”
“I feel like it’s my 18th birthday and I am the most important person in the crowd. It’s a very nice feeling.”
“I feel like it’s my wedding and I’m walking down the aisle. I would like to continue walking here.”
"I also asked the girls to begin a garden of pebbles, rocks, stones, and
"And when done, I asked them to ponder on what has been formed."
“I feel like I’m sitting on the sea shore. When I was a little child, I would go to the beach when I had problems…and just look at the islands beyond. Somehow, my feelings would be relieved. This is a place for examination of conscience. It feels very quiet here. I can feel solitude and the presence of God. On the sea shore, you can usually see a rainbow, which symbolizes God’s covenant with people, so there is hope. I can imagine a rainbow here.”
“It’s like the sea with different kinds of stones, some big, some small. The small ones are small trials. The big ones are like the big trials in my life that almost make me want to give up. I have overcome the small trials in my life.”
“The stones are holding the little plants in place, so the plants’ roots are able to grow strong. I’m like the little plant and the Round Home staff are the stones.”
“Everything seems to be in order here. There is peace and content, they just need the sun and water. I wish my life would be in order someday and I could fulfill my dreams. Sometimes I think I could.”
“The white reminds me that I have passed my trials and I have no worries anymore. My past experience was the most difficult in my life, but I have survived and now everything in my life is peaceful and I am so happy and my life is bright like that white.”
Dr. Velazco summed up the experiences by writing;
“The garden is an abstract and ambiguous stimulus and in order to make sense of it, the beholder has to create something in her mind. Whatever is created bears the specific stamp of the needs, hopes, conflicts, feelings, or desires of the one who is creating. The mere expression of these is therapeutic. The garden is thus, a huge therapeutic canvass.
The idea is to transform every possible corner in the Round Home as a source of therapy and healing. And when the children participate in such physical transformation of the place, their therapy also comes from their own hands.”
So yes…my day began with tears. It was like therapy.