Unlike temperature, when you walk into a room, you can say, "Hey it's cold in here and you can turn on the heat."
The feeling at this orphanage is not so easily identified. When we met the children at OSSO, a special needs home, I was on the verge of tears the entire time. So was Mrs. Cannon. When I asked the students this morning, Luke said, "I felt a happiness like I've never felt before--a different kind...not the kind of happiness I feel at Disneyland; it's as if happiness isn't the right word."
Ali simply said, "I felt good."
Lindsay said, "I felt inspired, but I didn't know why."
"I felt like I was melting, but melting with a kind of eagerness," Tashara's face takes on this look of kindness as she describes her feelings.
Carter explained "I felt overwhelmed, at first--like there was so much to do, and how was I going to do it. But when they smiled, that feeling went away."
When I asked her if she was ever on the verge of tears, she affirmed, "Yes, at points."
Braedon felt sadness--at first, but then he was super excited to get in there and play, and interact with the children...and he did.
Mrs. Wright was impressed that even though students had several options (one of them was to take a nap), they chose to play with the kids: Jenga with Martine, playdoh with Diana, and reading books with the other young children.
There is one scene from yesterday's first encounter, a feeling that is etched on my heart forever. At first, a little boy named Jonathon was agitated. He is deaf and the director suspects he is also blind. He's basically strapped to a wheelchair and seizures are a threat to his life...but Brook and Nikki didn't give up. I had to leave and when I returned, they were simply sitting with the boy, holding his hand, and he was perfectly content. So were they.
The feeling that is hard to quantify. This is it~~~We are a secular school and I appreciate the separation of state and school; I support it. But it will not keep me from stating what "that" feeling is.
It's charity, the pure love of Christ, and what a privilege it is to identify, to quantify, and even name that feeling.