I was reminded that I am not living in an easy place. I am not saying at all that Binghamton is a more "missional" place to live than anywhere else, but tonight I was reminded that it is not an easy place. I was chillin in my room, just winding down about to pop out the contacts when I heard a little commotion outside. Now, this isn't unusual, and "domestic disturbances" are unfortunately not a rarity around the neighborhood, so it honestly didn't shock me. I heard Brian move around upstairs and thought he was just heading down to make sure there wasn't something he needed to intervene in. But then I distinctly heard a cry for help. And that froze me. I didn't know what to do or if I should do anything at all. I could hear Brian running down the steps, probably skipping some, and the front door was thrown open. Still, I was frozen in my room. Frozen because that scream was so heartbreaking, because I didn't know the situation, because I didn't want to be in the way, but mostly because I was terrified. I wasn't scared for my own safety, but scared to find out what was actually going on. I don't know why, but actually becoming involved in whatever capacity I would if I walked out of my room glued my feet in place. After a quick prayer for strength, courage, and compassion, I walked out of my room to find the most adorable little boy standing in the Crenshaw's living room with tears in his big brown eyes. The details of his story are not mine to give, but in the few minutes I spent with him, he stole my heart. His sweet voice, smile, and laugh melted me down to my core. In a simple conversation about his favorite superhero, Batman, he had me in the palm of his hand. Kids have always been able to wrap me around their fingers in a heartbeat, this little boy was no exception. This sweet child had done nothing wrong, but his family was broken. He was living in a hard place. He was being robbed of an innocent childhood everyday by the choices his parents made, and he was being set up for failure.
For the past few years, as I have become more involved with orphans internationally and foster children here in the states, I have come back again and again to the realization that these children are being deprived daily of a real childhood. It has been stolen from them by nothing they did, no choice they made, no relationship they had.These sweet kiddos may never know what it feels like to sit on their Daddy's lap while he tickles them even when they say no and their sides hurt from laughing, they may never know the sweet smell of their Mom in that much needed hug after a long day at school, and they may never know that they are loved by a Heavenly Father who is not broken. Now, I am fully aware that we can't just make the orphan and broken family problem go away. I know this is part of a broken world and that its not going anywhere. But, every time I look deep into the wounded eyes of a child who is in these situations, I sure wish it would just all go away.
|This should be the face of childhood...|
not sadness, tears, and cries for help