Thursday, August 03, 2017

From Broken Heart to Bent Knee

I started a new activity this week.
A local children's home has a mileage club (Kids walk/run a mile and log their progress, earning "awards" for milestones.) and they're looking for new volunteers to walk with the kids. I thought it sounded like a neat way to love on some kids who need lovin' - so Tuesday I tried it out.
And I'm hooked!
I walked the first lap (mile) with a "group" and enjoyed conversation with a couple of kids and staff members. Then those kids went inside and a new group came out. So my second lap was with a 13-year-old girl who was full of dreams and was eager to tell me about the purse/bag she'd just made out of Duck Tape. This young lady surprised me with her maturity and optimism. I mean, for living in a children's home, she was so hopeful. Told me that she gets to visit "on campus" with her mom once a week, and that her mom is doing the things she needs to be doing - so sometime soon they're going to be able to visit un-supervised. And then she'll be able to spend an entire weekend with her mom. On the outside, I was excited with her, and talked about how great it's going to be when they get to have that time together.
But inside was weeping.
Because a kid shouldn't have to deal with stuff like that!

When my new friend went inside I took a rest in the shade until another group came around the bend.
In this group was an eight-year-old little guy who was one lap away from his next award, and he wanted to keep going. Since everyone else was ready to be done for the day, I said I'd go around with him.
Once we finished talking about the water bottle he was going to get for completing 20 miles (Not all in one day!), and the cool things he has at his mom's house, and his love of movies - well, that's when this little guy broke my heart. He told me he doesn't have to see his dad for another 10 years. Not until he's 18.
And the reason?
"Because then I'll be able to hurt him back if he hurts me."
The adorable kid at my side - who loves Spiderman and playing on his X-Box (things an 8-year-old boy ought to be doing) - told me that his dad abuses him. He went on to share stories about his interactions with the police, and his thoughts about helping them chase down his dad when he's big enough.
And that's when my heart broke.
Because a kid shouldn't have to deal with stuff like that!

I found myself feeling very angry toward the parents of these children.
How can an adult do such awful things to a child???
Even so, in spite of my anger I was sincere when I told 13 that I hope her mom keeps doing the right things so they can be together again. I spoke truthfully when I told 8 that I hope by the time he's 18 and sees his dad again, his dad will know it isn't OK to hurt another person. And part of me was feeling good for moving past my anger to wish well for these people.
But it didn't take long for God's Spirit to convince me that my well-wishes were not enough.
HE persuaded me that I need to do something.
That is, HE called me to pray for them.
I do not know their histories, their motives, their hurts, habits, or hang-ups. I don't even know their names. But I know God does. And so I am asking Him to work a miracle in each of their lives - to transform their hearts, to heal their broken places, to free them from any bondages which are holding them down.
Then it occurred to me, What if no one else is praying for 13's mom and 8's dad???
God has officially put them on my heart, and I commit here and now to praying for them both.
You are more than welcome to join me!



Christy said...

This breaks my heart. I will join you in praying for these precious kids.

Karen Hossink said...

Thanks, Christy!