There I was – walking around with my 10 month old baby, trying to keep him as entertained as one can while in a public library. My two-year-old was giddily bounding back and forth between the computer station and the shelves full of books just waiting to be read. All the while, my five-year-old was in serious contemplation as to which book he was going to choose between – a Strawberry Shortcake or a Lego City Adventures book. I was lost in thought…thinking of what I was going to make for dinner and planning an impromptu movie and ice cream night with my kiddos.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little boy walk into the kid’s area. Rather than eagerly looking for a new book to soak in or claiming one of the open computers as his own, he simply sat. He chose the little chair off in the corner of the kid’s area, a corner doing its best to not be seen – to just blend and go unnoticed.
I continued on, musing. Cinderella or The Jungle Book? Which movie do I want to surprise my children with tonight? In case you are wondering, they both were swept off the video shelf and added to our growing stack of “check-out” items. One to be watched that evening and the other to be used sometime within the next seven days.
Then she walked in.
A true mess. Hair that hadn’t seen the fine bristles of a brush in, what I would assume, at least a day or two. Pajamas that were doubling as clothes to be worn during the day and even while out in the public eye. Eyes, that were – listless.
My attention had been captured. I feigned interest as I browsed the many children’s books. I watched her – the way she sat, staring at the toys that were surrounding her. A stare that was not full of interest and wonder. No, it was a stare that just was, nothing behind those listless brown eyes.
The boy. He mentioned something to the little girl. She nodded, he got up and walked away. She continued to stare. Her fingers beginning to slowly feel the toys that were around her. She heard the laughter coming from my daughter, she looked up…just for a moment. I ventured a small and safe “hello”. She responded by quickly looking down. Not a word was uttered.
I found a place to sit. She braved a quick peek through her tangled mess of hair. She moved to another toy in the room. Watching me with quick sideway glances. I continued to sit. I watched as her slight fingers felt through an array of Lego blocks. She began to build. I watched with interest. She had built a tower…6 blocks high. An encouraging smile found my face as she braved a look in my direction. As her Lego wall went up, her inner wall began to come down. She found a red block and snapped it with a green one…an action that would put her tower at a daring height; an action that would cause her tower to play with the notion of falling over to a sure collapse on the floor. She turned her head and looked at me, her eyes meeting mine. A flicker of life began to find its way out of them. I played the part, “shock” showing on my face at “how high” she had constructed her tower.
She smiled – and my heart broke.
This was not the, “oh, that breaks my heart” kind of a break. It was a break that was felt from the deep within. It was, maybe, the kind of break I had been praying and pleading for – To have a heart that breaks for what breaks His.
I left the library that day, thinking. The little girl with the listless eyes. The little boy (with the fist-sized hole in his shirt) trying to
be stay unseen.
I have been asking that God will help me see beyond a life built around my comfort. I wanted Him to help me see a life that is built, rather, upon bringing glory to Him and pointing the world to its Rescuer, Jesus Christ.
Little did I know, God would use “even the least of these” to begin His work in my heart.
I thought of me and my world – one that shouts “pro-life” from the rooftops, yet cannot be inconvenienced with “choosing life” for the child that is wasting away in “the system”. It is a life that is appalled and sickened by every #defundplannedparenthood video posted on social media, yet refuses to get down and dirty to save the ones who are crying out for rescue from the depths of despair, destruction and/or terror. It is an absolute belief in that God knew us even before we were known – “My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:15-16 (ESV) Yet, I sit back on the sidelines letting the children, who have been known to and loved by Him since their existence, suffer – alone and rejected by a people called to step up and step in.
While the fight to save the unborn babies is real…where is the willingness to put action to our words? When do we, pro-lifers, STEP UP to the lives that have made it through the birthing room? When do we follow the words found in James 1:27 – “to look after the orphans…”.
When did the charge to take in those already-born–children only apply to those we deemed called to follow those words found in James?
When will we rise up and say, “we choose life” and those words will apply to all those unborn and born?
When will the thought of the 397,122* children in foster care turn our stomachs as much as the murderous acts being performed on the unborn babies does?
When will we hold out a hand of hope to a child whose heart and soul are dying a slow death in a world that has seemingly forgotten them?
Friends, I pray that you and I will not sit back in silence anymore. Let us move forward and – 1.) pray, every day for them, 2.) ask God to show us how we can be used, 3.) take those first steps to showing these children that they are wanted, that they are loved.
Here are some links if you are looking for somewhere to begin –
* source from CCAI