Eddy and the earring

Sometimes the greatest heroes are actually the unsung little ones who live their lives with quiet courage. By their example, they leave an indelible mark. Eddy is one of those.

Every Saturday morning I volunteer at the children’s ward of a cancer center, teaching English to the staff, patients, and parents. I always try to make it fun, using upbeat songs and games, so that it’s a time they can look forward to and that helps to get their minds off their pain, even if just for a little while. Eddy always follows along intently, his eyes bright with interest.

Last week, Eddy was wheeled into the room before our lesson as usual. He was so cheerful, singing along enthusiastically and joining in the games, that I didn’t pay attention to a fresh bandage over the stump of his right leg. In fact, I didn’t notice until one of the staff mentioned Eddy had just come back from the hospital where he’d had another 10 centimeters amputated. “The doctors hope they got all the cancer this time,” she said.

I watched as he rolled himself around, cheerfully interacting with the other children and his mother, and I marveled at his strength of spirit. Eddy is just 12 years old, and his parents are farmers from a nearby village. They dearly love their son and give him a lot of love and emotional support, and as a result, the boy bounced back from a second amputation with courage and a cheerful attitude.

Returning home later, I noticed that one of the silver hoop earrings I’d worn that day was gone. I got a bit despondent, thinking, Here I am, trying to do a good thing and cheer up the cancer patients and this is what I get! I searched my room, then the whole house and the driveway. Still no earring.

Then I felt bad about my grumbling. I could almost hear an audible voice saying, Today, you lost your favorite earring—but Eddy lost 10 centimeters of his leg!

According to the Bible, there is nothing lost in God’s kingdom. One day, everything will be restored and God will wipe away every tear.1 In the meantime, I’m sure that Eddy’s quiet courage and bravery here on earth will inspire others to count their blessings.

  1. See Revelation 21:4.