Some days, no matter what I am doing, I just cannot help thinking about a little man who I left in Hengyang. His name is "hammer, hammer" (sounds much cooler in Chinese.) I don't understand how in a room of 15 or so kids one or two of them can just reach out and steal your heart; that's what hammer, hammer did to mine.
Maybe it was because we had been through a kind of life and death experience together when he nearly choked to death while I was feeding him, or maybe it was because he actually responded during reading time, or maybe it was because he wanted to sit with me during the Christmas program, or maybe it was because he laughed a little after I made fun of his burp. I don't know. I just know that some days, my tasks here in America feel so silly and pointless compared to the gift of hanging out with that little guy.
And while I am comforted to know that I am replaceable and that others have taken over the work of bringing joy (and snacks) to that room of orphan kids, my heart still has a chunk missing and Hammer, Hammer's fingerprints are all over it.