As I heard the news of Naika’s passing and plenty of emotions and processing began to happen, my mind couldn’t help but jump to John 9 as I was writing about it just a few weeks ago. This story begins with a man born with a disability, a man born blind. When the disciples asked a question that basically said, “Whose fault is this?” Jesus redirected them and said that “this happened so that the power of God may be seen in him.”(v.3)
The reminder to have perspective is striking as we look at Naika’s life through the lens of the Gospel. At almost three years old she spent her life laying on her mat or in the arms of family members or friends and the world may shake its head, talking about the loss when she had not had a chance to live because of her hydrocephalus.
But on the contrary, I’ve seen God breathe life into her corner of the world ever since Jean Simon lead Scott Feather to their home last year because of Naika. People from CPR-3 became brokenhearted for what breaks our Father’s heart. Women in the house have transformed from cold & distant to warm welcomes & kisses as we greet each other. Just this week Simon Sr. – the vodou priest who accepted Christ in June – was sitting with Jordan Damon as they talked through the Bible that was open in front of them. This man left the Sant Mouvman with his trademark big smile, waving with both hands, and taking some of the pumpkin soup home for Naika that we had shared with him instead of finishing it himself after an afternoon of trying to learn how to navigate applying faith in real life. His love for his daughter was used as God worked in Simon’s heart – calling Him to a harder but better way as He calls us all. There are replies all over CPR-3’s social media as God has called the American church out of its comfort zone and you have responded.
I see a life that, like in John 9, was used to show the power of God. I also see God reminding us through Naika that exactly in our situation – both the good and the hard parts – as well as exactly where we are, He can and will use us. Let’s honor Naika as we work with no excuses to breathe life into our corner of the world.