A Woman of Influence

She was a powerful woman, that poorly paid caretaker of children in a small village in Bulgaria. She didn’t know it, but she was. Day in and day out she turned up for work in the poorly-heated, ramshackle building built by the communist government to house orphans. So many children, so many needs.

A 3-year-old boy came to stay at the orphanage, and he was very frail. He had brittle bones and suffered fractures constantly. He had to stay in bed when he would fracture, sometimes for weeks and weeks.

This woman would tie the tiny boy to her back with a shawl and carry him on her sturdy back while she made the rounds. He looked so alone just lying there, and he was so happy when she’d let him hitch a ride with her.

Her name was Maria, and I said she was powerful, because she was. She changed a human life. Over time, nine years in all, that kindness she showed enabled the little boy to trust, to feel affection, and to feel that he was a worthy of love.  She didn’t realize that she was giving that child something utterly essential – an emotional foundation for the rest of his life.

That young boy is now a man who works in a hospital here in America, putting medication in IV bags and preparing chemo treatments for patients who are counting on him to do the job right. He is meticulous in his work, conscious of the responsibility he has. He has finished all the certifications he can for his job and is preparing to move on with his training in pharmacy. Despite physical challenges and setbacks, he enjoys helping others and has set goals for himself that with God’s help, he will meet. That’s just who Jonathan is.

Most importantly, he is deeply loved as our son. He is able to give and receive love as a direct result of the compassionate woman in the photograph who loved him before we ever got to meet him at age 12. We are indebted to this very influential woman named Maria whose loving arms changed our son’s life.

It must have seemed like a small thing to show extra love to the little boy, all in a day’s work. But it really wasn’t a small thing at all in the end. Nothing ever is when done in love.

(Tom snapped this photo of Maria and Jon together at the orphanage.)


4 thoughts on “A Woman of Influence

  1. Lorrie says:

    What a precious story… the picture brings a tear to my eye. So thankful that God protected Jonathan and brought him into your family. Thankful for Maria’s love and care for the orphans.

  2. Holly says:

    Matt. 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me.”
    Thanks for sharing Ingrid.

  3. Beverley says:

    “Dear Lord, Thank you for: the love of Maria for those who did not have time for a precious child; Thank you for Tom & Ingrid in being obedient to the call of loving Jonathon into adulthood; Thank you Jonathon for leaning on God and not giving up – you are setting an example to all of us.”
    AMEN to your voice Ingrid … “nothing is ever small when done in love”

  4. Kris says:

    As it was just Valentines’ Day, what a great example of love for a child that Maria provided
    for Jon. It was a miracle on your and Tom’s part that he became a member or our family here. You provided him a great home, love, caring, wisdom, God’s Word, and courage to go forward and accomplish anything he set his mind to. Thank you Maria, for protecting Jon and giving him unconditional love for those years in the orphanage. We will always be grateful…

Comments are closed.