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When life doesn’t make sense

Have you ever been thrown into a situation that didn't make sense, a time when your questions to God went unanswered? Have you ever found yourself in a place where you were overwhelmed by injustice? Jessica Gasperin was. Her story from a Kenyan hospital brought tears to my eyes: I no…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Have you ever been thrown into a situation that didn't make sense, a time when your questions to God went unanswered? Have you ever found yourself in a place where you were overwhelmed by injustice?

Jessica Gasperin was. Her story from a Kenyan hospital brought tears to my eyes:

I noticed her the second we walked in, wadded up in an African fabric, eyes hardly open, she sat lay helpless in her mothers arms waiting…
 
The hour we spent going bed to bed I couldn’t take my eyes off of her I found myself constantly checking to see if the doctor had come to see her, he hadn’t…
 
We made our way to the table on which she lay and I held her in my hands…her tiny frail body, I watched as her tiny lungs rose up and down…her face not fully formed, her cleft lip cutting into her almost non-existent nose…She was beautiful to me
 
Clare…a 3 month old precious girl who was set to have cleft pallet surgery shortly,  was in the hospital today because she had been completely unable to eat for over a month…(we’ve all seen malnourished children on tv but they held no comparison to sweet Clare) I could feel her brain in her head, see every rib in her chest…
 
I put her tiny hand around my finger and held her close. She grasped on and held as tight as she could…
 
“You’re beautiful baby Clare, I want you to know that you are so loved,” ( from the second I looked into her hardly opened eyes I felt compelled to speak love over her)
 
I didn’t realize she was clinging onto life.
 
As I held her I prayed, “Clare is in your hands Jesus, let her feel your warm, loving hands hold her tight…”
 
She took her last breath in mine…

From my hands to His…
 
In that moment I realized I was the only one who noticed…how do you tell a baby’s mother that her child has stopped breathing?
 
Anger rushed through me – how could no one notice, how could no one care enough to try to save her life, how is this fair?
 
Tears poured out of my eyes as I turned to Clare’s grandmother. Her face went white and she just sat there.
 
Our translator went over to the nurses, they took her temperature – it was 34 degrees Celsius, she was gone…
 
The nurses walked away, never officially announcing that sweet baby Clare had passed, they simply walked away and sat down.
 
I was furious and heartbroken.
 
Why did this little girl die in my hands, why was I the last one holding her, why did nobody take a second glance at her…how is this fair?
 
Clare’s grandmother held back tears, I put my arm around her,she couldn’t hold them in anymore, they came streaming down.
 
 there are no words for a moment like this…
 
I looked around and realized Clare’s mother wasn’t even there.
 
 10 minutes after she took her last breath, after her hand lost grip on my finger, after her eyes closed, her mom walked in, completely unaware that her precious daughter was no longer alive…her face fell.
 
Those last moments, standing outside the ward listening to a mothers horrifying shrieks, heart wrenched sobs, and unrestrained tears…how do you erase that? How do you forget that?
 
I was sick to my stomach…
 
“I didn’t sign up for this” were my first words to Mike… “I signed up to hold laughing, crying, pooping, drooling babies…I didn’t sign up to hold a baby as she dies…”  

“Is it ever what we expect, ever what we sign up for?" He responded. "Doesn’t God always give us far more than we could expect or imagine? Don’t you realize God only gives us what he knows He can trust us with? He trusted you to usher that baby into His presence and you did…”
 
I’m not sure where to go from here, I’m not sure what to think, I’m not even sure how to mourn…I walked the half an hour home feeling completely empty and helpless, angry and thankful, blessed and uncertain…
 
I don’t know why I had the honor, and it was the highest honor, of holding beautiful Clare in my hands in her last moments but I do know she went straight from my hands to HIS.
 
Clare has forever changed me and I know that right now she is resting in the arms of our Father in heaven, he’s looking down at her perfectly formed face and smiling, her eyes are open and all she can see is HIS glorious face…she’s held in his warm and loving hands….

The world may have forgotten Clare, but Jesus had not. You may ask, "Jesus where are you in such a tragic situation as that?"

And I think he's saying, "I was there, I walked into the room when you did and I held her at the moment of her death."

You were the hands and arms of Jesus, Jess.

Comments (5)

  • the stories from the field always ALWAYS put my first world life into perspective. thanks seth.

    “I didn’t sign up for this” were my first words to Mike… “I signed up to hold laughing, crying, pooping, drooling babies…I didn’t sign up to hold a baby as she dies…”

    “Is it ever what we expect, ever what we sign up for?” He responded. “Doesn’t God always give us far more than we could expect or imagine? Don’t you realize God only gives us what he knows He can trust us with? He trusted you to usher that baby into His presence and you did…”

  • Thank you Lord in Jesus Name for your work in our lives.
    Thank you for our peaceful souls, for your Love that you gave to us, so as through you Love to live our lives here o Earth and forever!
    What a sad but at the same time peaceful feeling fill my soul, I am overwhelmed by your true presence and in that moments Jessica and till now you are too. It is amazing how we are created and how Holy Spirit presence halps us to live a life through faith.
    Thank you Seth for sharing with us such great works o God.

  • Thank you Lord in Jesus Name for your work in our lives.
    Thank you for our peaceful souls, for your Love that you gave to us, so as through you Love to live our lives here o Earth and forever!
    What a sad but at the same time peaceful feeling fill my soul, I am overwhelmed by your true presence and in that moments Jessica and till now you are too. It is amazing how we are created and how Holy Spirit presence halps us to live a life through faith.
    Thank you Seth for sharing with us such great works o God.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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