By: Mia L. Hazlett
It wasn’t her silence or her lifeless eyes that caught my attention. Nor was it her frail skeleton body frozen in the fetal position that tore my heart. It was the absence of her mother that brought me to tears. There were no hands to swat away the flies that danced around her eyes and crept along her weak body. Instead of a nipple leaking milk into her hungry mouth, a faint circle of dirt outlined her lips. Although my boss told me we were there only to take pictures, my God told me He had sent this child as a blessing, if not to her mother, than to this world.
Without taking a picture, I placed my camera on the ground next to the feces of some animal, and walked to the child. I knelt next to the tiny form and swatted away the buzzing insects. I removed my white linen shirt and spread it on the ground next to the tiny baby girl. Risking only disease and my job, I gently picked up God’s blessing and wrapped her in my shirt.
A small noise escaped from her lips and I kissed her forehead and whispered, “You’re welcome.” I’ve never been pregnant or even thought about it for that matter, but I will say I know how a mother feels the first time she holds her baby. I didn’t know how long I would have with this precious glory, but I knew I would not let her go until I absolutely had to.
I took her back to my tent under a small tree on the dead grass. In this third world country, I had no means to feed this child. There were no corner stores with overpriced formula, and I wasn’t at all eager to find the mother who had proven they didn’t want her. I took out a clean cloth from my backpack and soaked it with water. I placed it to her lips and gave a gently squeeze. The water leaked across my fingers and her mouth took on the natural sucking motion of a newborn as it latched onto the drenched cloth.
I don’t know why God brought me to Precious Glory’s side, but I can say she was held, kissed, fed, and loved before she died in my arms later that day.