What that Means for Your Life
It’s December 1944 and a baby girl is born in the worst slum in Europe, The Liberties, in Dublin, Ireland.
It’s not a happy childhood. She experiences grinding poverty. Her father’s a violent drunk who spends all the money he makes on alcohol. He’s gone most of the time and neglects the children. They don’t have enough to eat. Her mother, whom she dearly loves, becomes sick and dies. She’s 10.
She does her best to take care of her five siblings by herself, the youngest of which is three, getting up at 4 am to go to the market to dig through the trash. She reclaims the produce vendors have discarded, cooks it, and feeds it to the kids before getting them off to school.
But they’re cold … often burning the furniture for heat … terribly hungry, and beset by parasites. Someone tips off the authorities. The children are collected and dispatched to various institutions. She’s sent to a convent, hates it, and eventually manages to escape.
She works in a sweatshop and lives on the streets, sleeping in a hole she’s dug in the park, saving up her money to buy her mother a headstone and put the family back together. One day, she’s raped by several men and beaten senseless.
The authorities send her to an orphanage where the nuns hit her with a stick whenever she cries for her dead mother and tell her that her brothers and sisters are dead. They aren’t. She discovers she’s pregnant by one of the rapists, has the baby, and the little guy is taken away from her without her consent. She never sees the child again.
She escapes to England, works as a waitress, gets married, and has three more children. Her husband abuses her badly.
It’s a profoundly depressing story.
So, what do you think happens next? It can’t be good, can it? I mean everything in this story points to a life of continued misery and pain.
Okay, but you believe in miracles, don’t you?
She has a dream. The dream compels her to take what little money she has and go to Vietnam where she becomes directly responsible for rescuing and transforming the lives of some 700,000 street children.
Wait … what? She did what?
She flies to Ho Chi Minh City … formerly Saigon … and starts caring for street kids, taking them back to her hotel room, cleaning them up, dressing and feeding them. Despite innumerable roadblocks and frustrations, she manages to eventually create a shelter for the kids. One thing leads to another, and today, the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation provides a safe and loving place to grow up for thousands of abandoned kids.
They’ve made a very poignant and well produced movie about her life, aptly titled, Noble. You HAVE to see it.
Now, here’s the thing. Have you ever heard of her?
No? Well, I’m not surprised. I’ll bet most people have no clue who she is or what she’s done. I wasn’t until I stumbled across the movie on Amazon.
Wait a minute. Something’s wrong here.
This has to be one of the most moving and uplifting stories of our time, where a woman battered and abused by life at every turn is somehow able to transcend all the hurt, anger, and hopelessness to reach out and help others … hundreds of thousands of others … children no less … and yet, she and her work are virtually unknown.
How is she not one of the most well-known and celebrated women in the world? How is it that when people are asked to name the people or the women they admire most, we get back the names of celebrities and politicians … and not Christina Noble?
We need to hold her example up to the world to show what’s possible … even when you’ve been smacked down multiple times in your life … even when the odds say your dream is impossible to achieve.
We need to hold her example close to our hearts when we, ourselves, experience hard times and can’t see the world of possibilities that exist for us.
We need more examples of beauty and grace and humanity shining brightly in the face of despair. We need more heroes like Christina Noble.
Watch the movie! Spread the word!
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