Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dry Baby

My post on What They Didn't Teach Me In Flight School was a bit hard on babies as a demographic.  I feel like I need to balance things out a bit, especially in light of the fact that yesterday I got to hold this gorgeous baby girl in the village of Omban.  She came to me dry, and went back to momma dry...I guess she didn't get the memo.

There were a lot of babies at the airstrip at Omban yesterday.  In fact, we'd had three babies on their mother's laps on the short hop from Okbap to Omban...all of them dutifully screaming at the top of their lungs...they got the memo.  (Every missionary flight school needs a screaming baby simulator.  You may be able land an airplane on a dime, but can you do your pre-takeoff checklist while a trio of distressed babies do violence to your auditory system?) Out of all the babies at Omban, I specifically sought this one out because she's special.

The picture that accompanied the original post (left), taken two years ago, is of the older sister of the little girl I held yesterday at Omban.  In this next picture, taken a few moments later, I'm runnin' my mouth while the baby's father and grandmother graciously tolerate the windbag.    

photo Clive Gray
A few weeks after this original encounter, I ran into the dad again, this time out in town--he'd caught a flight out.  I asked how his beautiful daughter was doing.

"She died."

I was stunned.  She was a healthy little girl just a few weeks prior.  Infant mortality here is such that in some places they don't name their kids until they're four years old...I guess the concept is that thinking about the fact that 'the baby' died rather than 'little Jimmy' died cuts down on the heartache some.

So yesterday, as I got out of the airplane at Omban, I see momma holding this new gift.  And there's dad, beaming with pride as he helps unload the airplane.

"God blessed you with another child!" I exclaimed.

"Yes," says the dad,  "and the Lord is so good to us.  We missed our first one so much.  We prayed, and God gave us this baby that looks exactly like her."

Prone to wonder...perhaps it was David's similar experience that inspired him to write: 

Weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning


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