I've never claimed to be a writer, but it's nice to have a place to put my thoughts down once in a while.



I've been led down an eye opening path the past couple of days.
I knew that a lot of the kids in my community have parents that are drug addicts, alcoholics, are in jail or a combination of all of it. I knew that almost all of the kids that come to our church are among them. I knew that it must be difficult for them. I had concerns for them. But I never fully understood what these children are going through. I never though in depth about their situations, about the effect of the indifference, the toll their parents' bad decisions have made on them. On their hearts and souls.
Yesterday my heart was broken. One of the little girls (from church) who is living with relatives other than her parents, was looking forward to going to a cheerleading afternoon "camp" with another little girl. This girl is such a sweetheart. Gentle and soft-spoken. But for reasons unknown to me, she was not allowed to go. I was taking her home and although her head was turned to the window and her hair was covering her face, I could hear her sniffles. I started to think about her life. Both parents in jail, she's living in a house full of people, some of the children close to her own age. But they resent her being there. I know the adult looking after her tries to include her and be fair to her, but she's got a lot of other people of her own to look after. So this little girl, in effect, is alone. Not getting to go to the cheerleading clinic was one more disappointment in a long line of disappointments. When the car ride was just about over, I could almost feel her push that disappointment down, square her shoulders and strap on a protective attitude. I can see her sweet disposition being ripped from her, bitterness and resentment taking its place. I know this is what's happened to our other kids at church, what's happening to thousands of kids in our community, to millions of them around the world. I prayed that God would give me words to comfort and encourage my little friend. I wanted to stop the hurt, help her in some way. I pray that my words were from God and that she will remember them. They were nothing profound, I simply told her I thought she was very brave and not to let the disappointments in her life make her any different. I wanted her to know that there is someone in her life who cares. Who appreciates who she is and her potential.
Then this morning I had a discussion with another little girl in similar circumstances. Only she has no idea who her father is. She told me about her other siblings and their situations. I know her story is from a 9 year old's perspective. Some things she may not understand yet, some things she may have confused. But the overall picture is still a life of loneliness and disappointment. I could feel more pieces of my heart breaking.
My sister and brother-in-law are missionaries in Africa. They've talked about having broken hearts for the people they are there to minister to. I have a new appreciation for what that means. We get so wrapped up in ourselves and in our own lives, we forget that other people have problems too. Many of them, worse than our own. We forget that there are children who have been abused, people who are hurting, that are alone and afraid. Who simply want and need someone to reach out, just to know they aren't alone, that they are loved, wanted and needed.
Father in Heaven, I pray for the hurting children in my community and all over the world. I pray for brokenness, for myself and other Christians to see the needs of these children. Lord, show us how to help them, how to keep them from being lost and slipping through the cracks. I pray for the people who have lost a loved one, who are alone. Help me and other Christians realize that just a kind word or a simple smile could make someone's day. Help us, in this season especially, remember that we're not the only ones with problems. That maybe that rude salesperson is one of the hurting people. Father, I pray that even only for just a little while, we can treat each other with dignity and respect.
In Jesus precious name, I pray. Amen.


Amy said...

Seeing these things face to face really makes you stop and think, doesn't it? I work in a nursing home, and some of the family stories break my heart, too.