When you spend most of your day around little kids, you get so comfortable interacting with them that you sometimes forget that they are, in fact, little kids. So, when Rebekah and I pray in the morning we frequently pray to look on the children in our classes with the compassion of Christ. We want to see these kids as God sees them.
Be careful what you pray for.
The other day, one of my kids had to move schools. He is a foster kid. That’s nothing new. It’s something that I’m used to. It’s always a sad thing to see a kid go. But like I said, you get used to that and life goes one with hardly a bump in the road. Friday was different.
As this kid stood in my room with tears streaming down his face, I saw his heart. It was broken. It was tired. Even though he will be closer to siblings in his new home, he was losing everything…again. Losing his school, a family that loved him, a group of teachers that cared about him, all his friends, not to mention some of the extracurricular activities at school that he loved. He had found a place that fit him. He didn’t want to leave, but he had no say in the matter. I was undone. I knew that whatever I said would not help much. I told him that God loved him, that He had good things for him and that he had to believe that. I told him that I knew that life was rough for him, but to not give up. I don’t know if he believed any of it and I doubt that any of it helped in the moment, but it was all I had. As he left school that day you could see the scar tissue on his heart thickening. He was constructing an emotional wall. Shut off from the well wishing and words of encouragement, he was keeping it together, not saying a word as he added another brick to his wall with every step he took. You could almost see it being built around him, around his heart. It is a tragic, emotional fortress he will use to protect himself at the next stop.
And then I thought of our kids somewhere down in Colombia. They are probably experiencing some of the same emotions. Despite the great care they are receiving, I know they are hurting right now. I know that their hearts are broken. I want so badly to find them and pick them up and bring them home. I want to tell them all the things I couldn’t tell this kid today. I want to tell them that they are home for good. I want to tell them that they can relax and that they don’t have to worry about losing everything anymore. I want to tell them I love them and that I won’t leave them. I want to hold them and I want them to know that they are safe. I want to show them the love of Christ.
I looked at the heart of a kid the other day through Christ’s eyes. I saw the hurt. I felt the hurt. I felt helpless to help a kid I cared for. I saw that those days that are hardly a bump in the road for us are sometimes a violent crash for them. I want to stop that hurt for our kids. I pray that they will see Rebekah and me as their family, their safety net, their home. I pray that it can happen soon. I pray that we will be able to tear down the wall around their heart and that the scar tissue that has been built up from all the wounds of life can be worn away by a lifetime spent with a family who loves them.