He was about the same size as my 10 year old and I wasn’t sure I had ever seen him before. We went and sat down on a pew away from everyone else. Not having a clue what he wanted to talk about, I put my arm around him and said, “Okay, my friend … what’s up?”
He paused and said, “I’m just really sad right now.” In my head my first thought was, “You’re a 10 year old kid … what do you have to be sad about … is your Xbox broke?” Instead he told me, “I’m just really missing my dad right now. I’ve never been this far away from him and my family.” Realizing he was very serious, I asked him, “Where is your family, and why are you not with them?”
He filled me in for the next couple of minutes. He explained to me that he had been placed in a boys home and didn’t know when he’d ever get to go back home. My heart broke right then.
I tried hard to share with him a little love and encouragement … and then he said it … his words that are still replaying in my mind this morning …. “You know, I have really cool stuff at my new home. I have toys, and I have video games … but I really just want my dad back.” It was right at that moment that he began to weep uncontrollably.
I was struggling to hold back the tears now … so I pulled him in tight as he cried and his little body shook. I told him it was okay to cry and asked him if it was okay if I prayed for him. He shook his head yes. I asked God to bless him, his family, his dad and especially his new home where he was living how. When I finished he caught his breath and wiped the tears from his eyes. I asked him, “Are you going to be okay?” He didn’t answer with words, but instead just shook his head yes.
As quickly as he’d walked into my world, he walked out … down the stairs and was gone. Right then, and again this morning, I took a second to say another prayer. I thanked God for those who minister to broken children … children’s homes, foster families and others who are willing to love hurting kids.
I’ve had the opportunity to help feed a lot of kids who were suffering physically from hunger. Yesterday I was reminded there that are a lot of kids in our world that are suffering emotionally. Please, Dear Lord …. help us to see them.