Letter to Mowgli

23 Aug

Oh precious girl, do you know you’ve got me wrapped around your little brown finger? It’s true. You used to be so serious and quiet, and my heart ached to know your sadness. But now you talk and laugh and light up in smiles, and my heart loves it. I’ve run my fingers through your straight black bangs as you leaned against my chest. I’ve held your small hands in my white ones and smiled at you until the twinkles came out in your eyes and you twisted your head in a shy grin. Sometimes my skirt is damp when you leave, but I don’t mind. Sometimes I’m not sure if you’ve had a bath in the past week, but that’s ok. Sometimes I wish so badly I could take you home with me and make you clean and yummy smelling on the outside, and pure and Jesus loving on the inside.

When I don’t see you for a day or two, I walk to your house to find out where you’ve been. My favorite is when you see me coming and run down the street to meet me. “I missed you!” I say as I grab you up in my arms and swing you around in a circle. “I’ve missed you, sweetheart,” I say again as you bury your head in my shoulder. You don’t understand my words, but I think you know what I mean. And you don’t understand when I whisper prayers over you, but Mowgli-girl, God knows. When I think of how I’m going to say goodbye to you in a week, my throat closes up and my eyes get shiny-wet. How do I leave you behind? How do I go back to my big house and leave you in your slum one? How do I trust that Jesus will take much better care of you than I ever could? Who will watch you grow up and teach you how to make good choices? Who will I hug tight when your face comes to mind and you’re oceans away? Mowgli-girl, you belong to Jesus. I want you to know your heart is safe with Him even when your world is dangerous. I want you to know your block house isn’t your real home and your trash-littered life isn’t your only destiny. I want you to know what it means to love Jesus.

A few months ago I didn’t know you. I didn’t know you would be the face of my Cambodian summer. I didn’t know there was a hole in my heart the shape of a pigtailed three year old. I didn’t know I’d pray for your little life. I didn’t know how much I’d love you. In less than a week, I’m going to walk down your street one last time and hold you tight one last time and wait for that precious grin one last time. And then I’ll leave. But when I walk away, precious girl, Jesus won’t be leaving with me. He’ll be staying with you.


9 Responses to “Letter to Mowgli”

  1. Chelsea Anne August 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm #


  2. clarita August 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    This is sooo precious. This post had me in tears, how heartrending. And no, even though it hurts both of you to leave, you are leaving her with Jesus in a way that she may never ever have felt in her life. I think that little three-year-old Mowgli will always remember the summer with the white girls who loved her as she had never been loved before…

  3. Rebecca Rose August 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    “Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love.”

    — George Eliot

  4. Verda August 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    I’ve been reading your blog all summer long, and I’m finally commenting. The last picture… wow… what a treasure. I can’t even imagine how hard it will be for you to leave Cambodia.

  5. Jan August 24, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    This is beautiful.

  6. Rebecca Rose August 26, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    “Give a little to love a child, and you get a great deal back”

    -John Ruskin

  7. Jess August 27, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Claud & Veenz-
    Prayed for you lovely ladies this morning….God be with you.


  8. Dani August 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    Oh, I do want you to come home…but this post makes me want you to stay, too. Yes, Jesus is with the slum children, but they won’t know it unless we are his hands…..May our little HB be a springboard that takes us far apart and gives us a large circle in Heaven!

  9. father August 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    It’s the heart afraid of breaking that can never truely love. So dream and dare and do! Pour yourselves out and you will live abundantly! Take every chance to risk loving passionately!

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