My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

Get Involved

Learn More


Friday, April 25, 2014

Never Too Old to Sit on Daddy's Lap

This morning brought such reflection for me.  I went out to the summer hut to meet with Stanley, Stacy, and John about the mentorship program happening tomorrow morning, and was surprised with some memories from long ago.

Abigail, our fiery girl, was in trouble for some things she said to another one of our kids while they were fighting.  Vulgar, mean things came from her mouth as she insulted the other girl for stealing her bucket of water (we are on a no-running-water week, so fetching water is much more challenging than most weeks).

As John talked to her about what she said to the other girl, she stood angry-faced and hard-hearted, unwilling to understand why she was in trouble and not the other girl.

So, John called her over to stand next to him.  His voice changed and he began to talk lower, more gently, a father concerned for his daughter.  Quietly, he asked her, "Abigail, who are you?"  She responded, "Daddy, I'm nobody."

To that, he pulled his chair out, and sat that fourteen year old girl down on his lap.  He rubbed her back and spoke gently to her, reminding her of who God says she is, His Daughter...a daughter of the King.  She is not fatherless, because where her father left in death, Johnbull has come in his own fatherhood authority to replace.  She is not a nobody, but a dear "somebody" in the kingdom.  Tears poured down her cheeks and dripped off her chin as he spoke to her.

And when she finally left, John closed his eyes, as broken as our girl was. 

I was reminded of my first few months here in Ghana.  Abigail and DK had just arrived a month before I came.  They didn't know the language.  There was so much anger at that time and so, so, so many tears. 

The little guys, Edwin and Portia, would frequently ask me to carry them around when I was at the Freedom Center (we were still in Tema at that time), and it was almost as if Abigail took a cue from them.  She would jump on my back or come right up to me and ask me to carry her.  At that time, she was around 11 years old and far too big for me to carry her around!

But one day, she ran over to me and jumped up on me, holding on with her legs around my waist and her arms around my neck.  She rested her head on my shoulder, snuggling into that soft place between your neck and your chest that is reserved for those sweet moments with your littlest of children.  And so, I stood there, and I rocked.  I spoke words of love over her and prayed for her.  And when my back was tired, I brought her inside and laid her on my lap and played with her hair.  She fell asleep there, resting in the peace.

Those sweet moments with Abigail years ago filled something in her that needed filled.  She needed a mother's love, even if it was just for that moment.  She needed the loving arms of a friend.  She needed the prayers of a sister.  Two months later, we reflected on Abigail's changing behavior and knew that it was moments like that that were changing her.

And I trust that the moment that I was given the privilege to witness this morning, well, I have to trust that it will bring change.  That it will fill something in Abigail that needed filled.  She needed the love of a father, even if it was just for that moment.  She needed the loving arms of a friend.  She needed the prayers of a brother.  And I trust that we will reflect in months to come and know that it was moments like that that that are continuing to change her.

We are never too old to sit on Daddy's lap.  To take comfort in the Father.  To rest in the truth that He whispers into our ears.  And even in our moments of vulgar anger, He loves.  I run to that. 

No comments:

Post a Comment