Day 20 of 40 days to Resurrection day
Invite a child into your life, someone from your neighborhood
or a friend’s son or daughter, or even a member of your own family.
If you have been reading the blog for awhile or you know Sweet William and me personally, you are aware that our one and only son moved from living next door to far away in 2011. I was utterly devastated and grieved the loss of him, his precious wife and our only three grand grandchildren.
I could not imagine how I would survive the days, weeks, and now the years without them close by, without seeing them, waving to them in the yard, hearing their sweet voices regularly.
But I have survived. I prayed for God to sooth my aching heart, to dry my daily tears, to be enough for me. In the middle of my grief, Sweet William suffered long, and the road to recovery was a distant hope we clung to.
In the struggle to understand and make sense of the trial we were going through, God would not let me go. My Father didn’t answer the questions of why and when and how long. But He remained, His presence with me. He had promised to dwell, to make His home in my heart, and He was not leaving me alone.
Through the sorrow, I finally came to a decision to open my heart and life to other people’s children. My friends, my neighbors, my family have children, and maybe they needed a person who would encourage them and love them, just spend time with them.
And so we invited them to to come, to spend the day, spend the night, play games and do crafts and projects.
Yesterday I finished a photo book of our life in 2014, a year of memories in pictures. It included scenes of tea parties and snow men made from socks. I remembered gingerbread houses created at our kitchen table. I thought of two little girls asking to adopt us, wanting to call us Uncle Bill and Aunt Peggy though we are not blood related, and how I said “yes!” I recalled sweet little faces, smiles and hugs that brightened my day and warmed my heart. And there was the boy who just needed help getting to VBS this summer. He accepted Jesus as his Savior at the end of the week.
While the longing for my grandchildren still comes from every fiber of my being and their place in my heart is steadfast, my brokenness is being healed by loving other people’s children and their children loving me. The heart is amazing; the more we love, the more the heart enlarges to love.
Yesterday at Little Flock where Bill and I gather with other believers each week, the children led us in worship. They were dressed in matching red and blue t-shirts, singing their young hearts out, praying, and quoting Scripture. And I was bursting with joy to be part of this.
These children are blessed by being trained in the things of God. Their parents bring them to church and their teachers and leaders are showing them the way of salvation, modeling discipleship, worship and the way to live like Jesus.
But there are children who are not having the same experience. Some are close by.
There is a little girl somewhere who needs to know a Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, and she won’t know unless we tell her. A boy won’t understand unconditional love until we love him the way we have been loved.
The journey to the cross brings us face to face with our own self-centeredness because it forces us to see a Man who gave His life for another. And He calls me to do the same, to quit trying to satisfy my own desires and longings for the stuff of this world and do what He did. Love the unloved, the unloveable, the outcast, the orphan, the lost and broken. Sometimes they might be the people next door.
Can we look around us today and find a child or a teenager in whom we can invest? I am convinced that one person can make a difference in the life of a child. You may be that one person. And so might I.
Jesus invited the children to come. Can we do any less?