February 11th, 2016 In the impoverished area of Klong Toey in Bangkok, Thailand
The pain from sickness and death impacts all of our lives, it is unfortunately one of life’s non negotiables and it’s impact on us all is a reminder that we live in a very broken world.
Sitting with a cancer victim who is fighting with all his might is a reminder of both the fragility of life and the strength of the human spirit. His wife smiles as she painstakingly creates sushi for an added source of income, while her husband sits in the shadow of a portrait that serves as a reminder of how far his health has declined.
For the families that live in the impoverished Klong Toey area of of Bangkok, the broken heart that results from sickness and death is only the beginning. Here, a lost parent can easily result in a child being placed in an orphanage, losing whatever was left of their family.
Klang Toey is where I photographed today, and yes, the poverty and pain that I witnessed was overwhelming but the difference being made by those I accompanied left me full of hope.
I was blessed to work with Step Ahead, providing photos to help further their vision: “To see comprehensive transformation that demonstrates the love of God in action among poor individuals, families, and communities in Thailand.”
As my time with this sweet family came to a close, I knelt with these four ladies that introduced me to the families whose stories we came to tell. As the Prayer of Saint Francis reverberated in my mind, we joined hands with this resilient couple and prayed. My own life never made more sense or held such value as it did in that moment.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.