Hope and Healing

Old song… new meaning

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Today, in Nairobi,  I was privileged to go on some project visits with one of the Hope and Healing partners – APDK (Association for Physical Disabilities in Kenya). One of the visits was a home visit. We met James.

James is a boy of 4 with CP living with his grandmother. James’ mother left them when he was born as she could not cope with a child with a disability. We understood the father was not in the picture. James’ grandmother, aged 65, has taken care of him since birth.

Their home was one room, about 10 feet by 10 feet. As we entered it was hot and crowded with a charcoal burner providing cooking heat. There was very little else, other than bedding. The only “luxury” item I saw was a radio, which was tuned to a Christian radio station broadcasting in both English and Swahili.

The community worker has shown James’ grandmothers how to do stretching exercises and massages to loosen his muscles and increase his range of motion. She showed us. On the dirty floor she laid out a sack cloth and laid James down. In the next twenty minutes she did exercises – manipulating his arms, legs, fingers, toes, and neck. The old and the young, so tied to each other, lived in the “now” and not in the future. The community worker told us how these simple exercises were increasing his movement.  This improvement was seen over months and measured in centimeters – but it was improvement.

As I watched this scene, played out daily, the radio played a song I knew. It was in English, and a song that I remember singing when I was young. It did take on meaning this time for me that was far deeper than when I last heard it.

The song?

“Count your many blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done…”