Treasure At My Gate

“Treasure At My Gate” – from Nathaniel Dunigan’s Journal

I have had five new boys come to live with me in the last three weeks. Undoubtedly, what I enjoy most about my life is that Christmas comes so often; treasures such as these given to me–entrusted to me–all the time.

The twins, Kato and Wasswa, are nine years old. Such fun and precious boys. They are the only surviving members of their immediate and extended families. They were found fending for themselves in a tiny hut, deep in the village. (How many more must there be!) All my kids had such stories. These boys.

The others, too.

Now that they have all been here at least one week, I am once again amazed at the hope-petals that so eagerly bloom in wilting hearts. When love is tenderly poured upon them, joy always sprouts.

Something that Mother Teresa once said came to my heart last night as I considered this reality. She said,

“There is hunger for ordinary bread, and (then) there is hunger for love, for kindness, for thoughtfulness; and this is the great poverty that makes people suffer so much… A smile must always be on our lips for any child to whom we offer help, for any to whom we give companionship or medicine. It would be very wrong to offer only our cures; we must offer to all our heart. ”

Such truth is forever unmistakable.

Last night, as I kissed my kids goodnight, I remembered my first “tuck-in time” with my very first kids. All in one big bedroom. Then I remembered stepping from one room into a second during the darkness of early night. Then three rooms. Then four. “Tuck-in time” takes awhile now.

The girls all said to me last night, “We want a girl,” reminding me that the boys outnumber them nearly 4 to 1. “Daddy, Daddy, please bring us a girl next.” As if such decisions were mine.

I never know when.

Or who.

What their story will be.

What their eyes will say.

Or exactly what will be their distressing disguise.

Always I wonder: who will be the next treasure at my gate?

“Suffering, if it is accepted together, borne together, is joy.” –Mother Teresa