As we were leaving the community, Jonathan's mom hastily tied a blue beaded bracelet around my wrist. She and her daughter had fashioned four rows of interlocking translucent blue pony beads with blue yarn - a style of knotting and beading which they had learned during recent employment workshops in the community. The bracelet was a gift from a grateful mom, grateful because we had visited her son Jonathan every day, holding our hands over him in prayer.
Jonathan was a miracle baby. His mom found out that she was pregnant just weeks after her oldest son was murdered. A year ago, when he was one year old, Jonathan was baptized. This year, as a two-year-old, Jonathan is spunky and playful and energetic. The day before our visit, Jonathan had fallen and hit his head on the hard ground. He had symptoms of a concussion, so his mom and dad took him to the clinic where they were told he had a skull fracture. Keep him still. Watch him. Come back if the swelling on his head becomes worse or if he loses consciousness.
When Jonathan and his family were not in church, we asked around and found out what happened. So we went over to the house and asked if we could pray over Jonathan. Each day during our visit, we went to the house and laid hands on Jonathan and asked God to heal him and to comfort his mom. Each day, we observed Jonathan getting a little better. After a few days, he was playing in his crib. On our last day, Mom carefully led Jonathan on his first walk after his accident. That was the day that the bracelet was added to my wrist, a reminder to pray for Jonathan's continued healing and protection from other dangers for a two-year-old.
Sometimes I have a chances to take photos of my bracelets before they break, but this time the blue beads tumbled to the floor before I captured a picture of the pretty bracelet. The yarn only lasted a couple of months -- long enough, I think, for prayers of protection to have surrounded Jonathan's little head while it healed.
I was down to one bracelet after the pretty blue beads scattered, so I looked inside a small box I keep with gifts from El Salvador inside. There I found another bracelet with pretty blue beads. I have had it for a long time. It deserves a story too...but that is for anther day.