Photo Credit: Leigh Hudson
Last summer I was the photographer for our church’s mission trip to Honduras. I did other things too, including sharing my story at a youth prison, prayer walks around a local community, and speaking at a pastor’s equipping event.
Each night our team would meet with the ministry leader for a briefing on the next day’s plans. The next to the last day, we were scheduled to participate in a medical mission’s ministry that had been in Tegucigalpa for several days. Folks were assigned to a variety of areas such as evangelism, prayer, and children’s hair care.
Our team sacrificially chose where they would serve, and when the leader mentioned that working with the children would involve ridding them of hair lice, I cringed. Don’t pick me, I thought. Our leader looked right at me and said, “Leigh, I want you to take pictures.” I breathed a sigh of relief. I mean, it was lice. I didn’t want to get dirty.
When we arrived at the medical mission site, our leader said more folks were needed in the de-lousing area. My friend spoke up and said “I’ll go.” I decided to follow. Should make for great photos, I thought to myself.
As we entered the children’s area, kids were lined up waiting for their hair to be treated. I was sickened at the thought of my shrinking back. Who did I think I was?
I put my camera bag down and said I would help. As I treated my first little girl of the day, I was still a bit freaked out by the whole thing. And then I saw her; the cutest little girl ever. Her hair was wild and thick. It would take an hour to comb her out.
As she stepped up to my “station”, she smiled at me and in that moment, I was wrecked. I was looking into the eyes of an innocent child. I pulled off the plastic gloves and treated the little girl’s hair with tenderness and humility. I felt like I was the one who needed cleansing–of a deeper kind.
And just like that, my perspective changed. I stepped into the messiness. As Jeff Goins says in his book Wrecked: When A Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life, “If we want to understand the secret to living a good life…we have to get dirty. We cannot be afraid of the cost, of getting stained with someone else’s filth.”
I have a picture of that little girl in my prayer room. When I’m feeling apathetic or bored, I look at her and smile. She helped me get “clean” that day.
for more information on Wrecked, check out: http://wreckedthebook.com today!