A few months ago while volunteering at ECHO one night, I met a little boy, I’ll call him Alex. He was something and I thought to myself that he must be keeping some family on their toes.
While we were playing and working, another child was looking at the books on the shelf and kept pulling out different Bibles to show us. Alex sheepishly smiled and told us that he had one of those. I asked him if he had a favorite Bible story. He looked at me confused. I said, “Like David and Goliath or Noah or a story about Jesus.” Suddenly his eyes lit up and he said, “Oh I know… is that one of those things people sometimes do at night?” I said, “Well some people might tell a Bible story at night.” Then we were caught off guard as he unexpectedly and shyly started singing Jesus Loves Me with a smile and a lot of mixed up words. When he was finished we clapped and told him that was beautiful. He was very proud and explained that at one of his multiple foster homes, he received a bunny that played that song and sometimes he would play it at night.
My heart broke as I realized that this was the extent of what he knew about a God who loved him more than anything.
Driving home that night I thought about all the good things that good people work to provide for kids in the system. There are diapers and clothes and toys and all of those things are needed and they are important. But I also thought about the fact that people, especially kids in care, need more than things to make it in life. People need love and more importantly, they need to know God’s love.
I do not know what life events has these kids displaced or if they made it into a great foster home or relative care situation or even what their future holds. I know that at some level, they are all going through something hard. While amazing people come together to provide homes and necessities, as a Christian who cares, I cannot forget the most important thing they will ever need- God’s unconditional love.
So now I don’t just keep an eye out for things to donate, but I take the time and pray for the kids I have met by name and for their families. I pray that they will be surrounded with people who will show them God’s love and peace in the turmoil of their family situations. I pray that God will use me in whatever way He can to show them His love and that they will find Him as a constant in a world that is often not.
I cannot fix their broken situations, but I can boldly approach the throne of God on their behalf. While many awesome Christians support these kids in their homes, I can support them on my knees in prayer. Jesus once had a group of his closest friends turn some kids away from Him, thinking He was just too busy to be troubled by them – after all they were just kids and He was Jesus. He rebuked them and told them to let the children come to Him. He held them, He blessed them, and He loved them. How can we as His followers do any different?
The last time I saw Alex, the boy I thought was sure trouble, he gave me a big hug. Jesus does love him, this I know… and I pray that whatever unfolds in his life that he will know it too.