Saturday, June 30, 2007

3 more kids were removed from their home yesterday by Social Services. When I arrived, their auntie had just told them what was going to happen, and they were all crying. How can a 4, 6 and 7 year old be expected to understand all of this? I walked into their little house and their mother had closed herself off in one of the bedrooms, and the three children were altogether in the tv room - the two older girls sobbing hysterically, and the youngest boy just sitting, staring at nothing and stroking the teddybear he was holding in his lap. I had brought over a care package - paper towel, cleaning supplies, dish soap...I set it down in the kitchen/laundry room/storage area and picked up one of the girls and just held her. Within minutes my shirt was soaked through with tears and snot, all flowing from her face freely. I added my tears to hers, because there were three children calling for a mother who was geographically 6 feet away, but emotionally unreachable. She would not console them. I did my best to hold all three at once. I tried to pray, but I couldn't. I was weak. Nothing came out, but there was a lot being said in my heart.

"So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought..." Romans 8:26

Afterwards, I was talking with the Lord, sharing my heart and the brokenness therein. It is wrong that there was no one to comfort these children. After all, they are caught up in a situation that is out of their control, one that they didn't create. They were all alone in grief and uncertainty and I don't want children to ever be alone.

In response, He said "I didn't leave them alone. I sent you to them."
I said, "their own mother neglected them"
He said, "I sent you to hold them tight like a mother would."
I said "there is no one to share their burden - no one around here has given them a second thought"
He said "You will remember them. You will grieve and mourn and intercede for them. That's why I brought you there - it wasn't just to drop off paper towel and dish soap. "

When I was living in Vancouver, one of the lessons the Lord taught me, is that the most valuable thing I can give to others is myself. Not a cup of coffee, although that's nice, or a sandwich or a coat. I can give any or all of those, or a thousand things more, but there needs to be an ever-increasing measure of me in there as well. Arms that willingly hold tightly to a despairing child, a heart that actively chooses to let the life of another flow over and shape and disturb mine.

I'm learning continually not to walk through life and ministry unchanged and intact, unmarred and antiseptic, but to embrace the tears, the snot the blood, the crayon and pudding stains and the sweat - and to consider each a badge of honor in service to my King. God knows it ain't easy. But who signed up for easy?

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armybarmy said...

deep. God be with you.

l said...

i love that i get to watch you grow & move through these tough situations hearing form God & learning muxh along the way. thanx for sharing your thoughts here. your lessons feed others. can't wait to see you again at the next a-pak.

~m2~ said...

this is miraculous stuff. i am so glad i found you here.

(thanks, erin)

Aura said...

Heather, thank you for this. My heart goes out to you and all those little ones you are serving with so much love.