I walked into a pretty standard Iraqi home. I sat down on a couch while the television informed us of an Iraqi political event. I drank Mountain Dew from a glass bottle, thankful for the familiarity of a soda.
Then I met Hawlbast, a little boy who loves fruit, his family and giving kisses. I found myself looking him over - looking for some sign that would indicate he had been healed. Something more than just the scar I knew was beneath his shirt. This was the little boy who in March of this year was laying on an operating room table undergoing open heart surgery. Surely I would be able to tell he had been through that.
But there was nothing.
He merely played with his brother, pretended to answer the phone and thoroughly enjoyed looking at pictures of himself. He was behaving like any young boy his age would and it hit me: this is healing. Healing is being restored to what we were meant to be. In Hawlbast's case, he wasn't meant to have blue, poorly-oxygenated skin or shortness of breath- all of which he had to endure prior to his surgery. I'm not naive enough to believe that there are zero complications lying beneath Hawlbast's smile, but for now being restored in Hawlbast's case means spending time with his family and brightening their day.
So when Hawlbast laughed and threw his half eaten peach at his smiling dad, I smiled too. I'm sure my father endured the same at my hands when I was Hawlbast's age, and to me, that is a sign of healing.