Remember last year when I wrote about praying for God to send my kids someone to disciple? Turns out that is much easier in theory than in real life. This year God sent my boys (and myself) a neighborhood full of families for us to love on and minister to and they have all been so easy to love.
The kids in our new neighborhood have been great. The boys have made great friends and we have developed relationships with our neighbors that we cherish. We couldn’t be more blessed to have been placed where we are right now and I am grateful. We spend a lot of time with the neighborhood kids, they go to church with us on Wednesday nights, they come to birthday parties, we go to the pool together. We’ve had an opportunity to love them and it has been easy.
Then God sent a child that was hard for me to love. There is just something about him that makes me worry. He lies all the time, but I notice they are the lies of insecurity rather than manipulation. He’s unsupervised, he goes where he wants when he wants. He gets to our house early most days, and stays until the sun is gone. He’s rude, and very rough around the edges. He’s too knowledgeable about the world and It’s been a struggle for me to allow him to spend so much time with our kids. I have worked hard to shelter my boys from this world and now I feel as though I’m allowing it into our home in a huge way with this boy.
Yesterday it all came to a head. This child had been here most of the day and the boys were upstairs playing a video game. He called our youngest son some names and Collin asked him to stop. He didn’t. Pushed came to shove and the two of them ended up in a fight that turned physical. Collin immediately was remorseful, even making him an ice pack for a bump on the head. It wasn’t anything terrible, these are little boys, but feelings were hurt. I checked him over and sent him home to rest and cool off but you know what I felt in my heart? I felt relief. I was happy. I thought that it would be the end of having to deal with this child.
I was wrong.
That night as I was loading Olivia into the car, John had already left with the other kids in the church van, I felt a nagging in my heart. As I drove up the street I knew that God wanted me to go to this child. I really didn’t want to. I argued with God a bit, he’s not a good influence on my kids, he had hit my child, I have a right to keep him away.
God said go.
As I pulled up in front of his house I was nervous, I didn’t know what this child had told his mother about what had happened at our house. I rang the door bell and he opened the door. This skinny, insecure, unaccepted child…
“Do you want to go to church?” He smiled and nodded.
On the way to church we talked. He cried, although he didn’t want me to know. He wiped his tears quickly as they fell. I shared Jesus with him. I don’t know if he understands, or even cares to but I know that I was able to show him forgiveness, acceptance and love yesterday and I’m thankful.
When we pulled into the church parking lot Collin saw him get out of the car and immediately ran up. He apologized to him for the fight and the boy did as well. They walked side by side into the house of God with smiles on their faces. This night could have been very different. My child would have been at church either way but he had the chance to ask forgiveness from a friend and mend a relationship. He had the chance to offer acceptance to a child who doesn’t get much of it.
The little boy got to spend time with a lot of good kids, he was shown love and forgiveness. He got to experience Jesus rather than sitting on his couch watching tv or whatever else he would have been doing had he stayed home. I’m not applauding myself, not in the least. I didn’t want to go get him. God made this night happen. God put this child in our path because he desperately needs Jesus. It’s easy to minister to and disciple children who behave and are respectful. It’s not so easy with the ones who truly need God.
Mothers, please be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we are being called to mother more than just our kids. Loving the unlovable is hard, but it’s necessary.
Hebrews 13:16 NIV
16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.