A few weeks ago we had a visiting surgeon at CURE Ethiopia who specializes in repairing cleft lips and palates. One boy came to us close to the last day to have his cleft palate repaired. On the outside, the boy appeared completely normal. But he was unusually silent. No amount of friendly or silly talk could get him to speak a word. He was born with a very wide cleft palate. A cleft palate can be a dangerous condition in the developing world. It is a gap in the roof of a person’s mouth. This makes it very difficult for a baby to suck. In a place where survival is difficult already, this can push them over the edge of survival. If the baby makes it past the point of needing to get nutrition through sucking, the next hurdle is speech. If the palate isn’t fixed before a certain age, it becomes difficult or impossible for the child to learn to speak correctly. Thanks to Dr. Joseph, this boy now has a closed palate and has found his true voice for the first time.
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Everyone of us needs to give a voice back to someone in our own sphere of influence who has lost theirs, whether they have lost their voice to physical disability, to poverty, helplessness, depression, scorn, illness, slavery, human trafficking, or oppression. Get creative and think of someone you could help to lift out of a pit of weariness, loneliness, or helplessness and show them the light and freedom of God’s love. Help us, Lord, to have our eyes open to those around us that need to find a voice.
A little girl at Cure Ethiopia who had rotational deformities of her legs corrected last week.
Originally posted at: http://ethiopia.thebernards.org/2012/12/06/finding-his-voice/.