when i was six years alive, my family was in the philippines on our way to an extended stay in the states. a typhoon was bullying manila with wind and unstopping rain—forcing a canceled flight. we crowded with our bags into a small taxi and waded through flooded streets to an overnight stay at an SIL guesthouse.
it was hot and humid in our small room so my parents opened a window to let the thick air move. in the midst of repacking suitcases, mum stepped out for a moment. she knew to brace against the solid wood door being shoved to close by the draft. but i didn’t.
i opened the door, wanting to follow her and it rushed to trap my not fast enough fingers. my instinct at the blooming pain was to pull away. i tore the fingernail of my right ring finger off. completely.
early the next morning was departure. we reached manila international airport with steady rain refusing to let us be. my dad wrestled to free the seventy pound suitcases from another too small taxi while my mum did her best to shelter kurt and i from the rain. crowds of people pressed in on us.
in keeping with a life of making do, a makeshift splint hoped to protect my finger from painful, breath stealing bumps. i cradled my hand against me like a baby doll. layers of gauze and popsicle stick soldiers at attention advertised my injury. but still i was bumped and jostled, tears barely held back.
bags unloaded, my parents began to plan the impossible trek from curb to terminal doors. when with sudden an older filipino woman took me from my mum’s arms and disappeared through the crowd. it happened too quickly for words but there must of been a message between mother hearts. and village life had left me with sense of belonging to all. i accepted the rescue without reaction.
the small, browned woman carried me, hand protected, shouting at people to move out of her way with the right of shared culture and language. inside at the check in, she turned to wait for my parents to catch up. protecting me still.
they reached us and she left. most of my life i imagined she was god letting my guardian angel be flesh and blood for a moment. with a mothers heart of my own now, i remember her still. god meeting need.
sometimes in the background.
sometimes with clearer, brighter glimpses of him.
and sometimes with such undeniable presence that we drop to our knees. hearts recognizing the bigger than possible size of his grace and provision.
“and my god will meet all your needs,
according to the riches of his glory in christ jesus.”
philippians 4:19 (NIV)