Who will watch me….play, eat, sleep, etc. A cute little boy came to SafePlace. He’s very active, to say the least and absolutely LOVES playing basketball games on the Play Station 3. Every time he got ahead of the opponent team, he would run up to a staff member or volunteer and say ” I’m beating them!” or “Come watch me play, I’m winning!” He also exhibited the same behavior when watching a movie and even while eating. With the change of activities, his question was always, “Who is going to watch me?” He also was obsessed about having a roommate. He likes to have another child in the room where he is sleeping. Maybe it’s for comfort so as to not feel like he is alone.
To many people, this is very cute and endearing. It was really nice that he wanted us (staff and volunteers) to be part of this experience for him, but it spoke to my heart on a deeper level. This child is starved for validation, love, and acceptance. He wants people to see him as good and worthy of attention. My fear for this child is that his eagerness to please and need to be validated could make him an easy target to be a human traffic victim if the right interventions are not done. Pimps prey on those who are looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places. Children in foster care are prime targets for these sick people, and I am praying fervently that this little one gets mentorship and guidance so that he can achieve the dreams and goals that God has put in his heart.
Lord, who will watch him?
He enjoys bedtime stories and is such an agreeable little fellow. He is obedient,and pleasant to be around. At bedtime, we read a story (we read The Lion King), but it was really important to also read the bible to him tonight. He said that one day he wanted to be like Lebron James. Well, most people want to be able to mimic famous athletes and entertainers; however, it was important that this little boy understand how unique and awesome he already is. We read Romans 12:3-5:
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
We discussed that each person has different talents, gifts, and abilities and God wants us all to work together to get things done. No one is better than another person, no matter what skills or talents they have. We each have something special to offer the world. Also, that when we are doing whatever we are gifted to do that we are in fact helping others. He was still commenting about wanted to be like Lebron and play for the Miami Heat, but he started chiming in that it’s good to please God. That definitely made me smile. We also read Psalm 139:14, which says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” I really wanted him to know just how special he was and that he could be anything he wanted to be, but God gave him specific talents that will come out over time. The only thing that he needed to be concerned about right now was eating his vegetables, drinking his milk, doing well in school, and being the best he could be. He seemed to be content with this answer and then asked for his bear so he could go to sleep.
I was happy that I got to spend so much one-on-one time with him at bedtime. That is very foreign for me since usually we are swamped with children and I can barely get the basic things done at the shelter, let alone have time to read each child a story. When I get those opportunities, I relish in them.
Today was an unusual day in that it is Sunday. I usually do not work on this day. One of my staff members was ill, and since I am on call this week, it was me who had to fill in her spot. When I got the call-out at 10:30am this morning, I was a little sad because I wanted to clean and relax today. I had just come from breakfast with David and his mom. The day before, David surprised me with dinner and a movie, which was not even part of the agenda. So I was on a personal high. Both of those were answered prayers. David had to go on orders out of town for the past two weeks and since he is knee-deep in school work, I didn’t expect to see him until next weekend. I was praying that we would get some time together sooner rather than later and he messaged me about dinner, then on our way he surprised me with a full evening together (booyah!). Then this morning during church, I was praying that it would be really nice if we could have brunch after service. After service we were all standing in the lobby when David asked if we (his mother and I) would like to have breakfast. Yes please!
The point is, I have been ministered to by the Lord and with his quick answer to the emotional and relational needs that I have right now, how could I be upset at the call to serve his children? How could I possibly begrudge my work just because it was requested at a time that didn’t fit my schedule? My schedule had to change, and since I was going to be up a little later, I decided to nap before work. I asked the Lord to help me have an good attitude about this and that I be intentional during the shift. I am glad that I was able to come tonight, despite it being off my regular schedule. Being with this child and being able to pour into him was something I really needed. With the job I have, it is easy to become weary and feel like what I do doesn’t matter and doesn’t do much. These moments of time help me to remember that the things we do here really matter and make a difference.
I was convicted because one of my devotional readings on Friday was about readiness. In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes:
Readiness means having a right relationship to God and having the knowledge of where you are…Readiness for God means we are prepared to do the smallest thing or the largest thing-it makes no difference. It means we have no choice in what we want to do, but whatever God’s plan may be, we are there and ready…
This was not a choice for me, I needed to stand in the gap for one of my employees. We have specific regulations from the Department of Children and Families regarding filling in for employees, male/female ratios, and employment status for those filling in. This meant that no one else could come in to work but me.
It reminds me of two verses. The first – Proverbs 11:25 which says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” My job and ministry requires me to pour out to others a lot. It sometimes leaves me feeling dry and depleted. I know that my God is a good Father and he provides respite for me. This past week has been filed with breakfasts and outings with friends, good phone conversations, and also a wonderful end to a hectic week with some much needed “us” time for David and I.
The second verse is Luke 12:48 “… From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” The great commission to make disciples of men means that each task with which we are entrusted will have greater and greater responsibility and personal cost. God has given me a lot of responsibility and it means that I will be stretched at inopportune times according to my own time table. It will cost me to do these things because my personal desires come second to God’s plan.
Lord, two things – Let my heart be humble so that each task you give is received with eagerness to serve. Help me to live a life that is flexible so that you can send me wherever and whenever you please. Also please be with this little boy. Don’t let him fall in the clutches of the enemy, or be provoked and enticed with lies that will never fulfill what he really needs. God I pray that he learns that you will supply his every need and give him the love he craves. I pray that one day he truly understands who you are and accepts your truth so that we may see each other again in your Kingdom. Amen.