Jesus, life, Light

Abundant Love. Abundant Compassion. Please.

A little boy named Isaiah is on my heart and in my prayers.  His siblings are, too.  But not often enough.

The Tuesday after Easter my friend, Linda, who heads up an after-school tutoring program at his inner-city school, asked him why he wasn’t at the easter egg hunt at church.

“We had our own easter egg hunt,” he beamed.

After several years of living here and there, with this aunt or that, with this friend or that, some siblings here, some siblings there, he and his mother and all of his six siblings had finally moved into a home of their own – all of them under a single roof.

Isaiah was so happy, so proud of this step up that his mother had taken.

A few days later the kids were upstairs in their bedrooms.  Their uncle was on the sofa in the living room watching television.  Their mom’s boyfriend walked quickly through the front door.

“Where’s Kenyetta?”, he asked.

“In her bedroom,” the uncle answered.

The boyfriend climbed the stairs to her bedroom and shots rang out.  Kenyetta was dead – shot several times in the chest.  Isaiah’s two-year-old sister, who had been standing next to her mother’s bed, was shot in the leg.  But alive.

The new house is vacant now.

Isaiah and his three siblings-who-share-the-same-father are living with his father now, along with another sibling, who has a different father.  He wouldn’t/couldn’t take the oldest, who is 15 and pregnant.  The seventh sibling is in detention at Children’s Village.  He and his anger issues.

The lesson in Bible study this morning challenged us to look for the beauty in the ugly.  To thank God in the midst of the mess.

I can’t think of much that is uglier and messier and more heartbreaking than a little boy beaming one week and absent the next.  Crushed.  A happy, proud step up followed immediately by a crushing crashing down.

At Kenyetta’s funeral – at Isaiah’s mother’s funeral – the pastor implored the 500 in attendance to turn the tragedy around – turn it into an end to domestic violence, an end to drugs.  Amen.

I am having trouble seeing the beauty in the ugly right now.  All I see, all my heart feels is the crushing blow to a little boy’s joy.

But I pray that Isaiah will one day see it; that the city will one day see it.

In the meantime, Father, will you fill every caregiver, every adult that Isaiah and his siblings encounter with an abundance of love and compassion for them?  Abundant love.  Abundant compassion.  Not just today, not just this week, but every day and every week and every year until they are all fully healed.  Until they all see the beauty in those fragile ashes.

Thank You for love.  Thank you for redemption.  Thank you for healing.  Thank You for bringing life from death, beauty from ashes, I know You will.

Thank you that we who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

life, Light

On a Sunny Deck in My Pjs

Friday morning:  Sitting here on the deck in my pjs:  Clear blue sky, birds singing, Little One curled up next to me.  Vitamin D nourishing my bones, top of my head warm.  Hope springing anew.

Help has come and my eyes well up in gratitude.  God does not abandon us forever.  He does not leave us with aching bones, heavy hearts, sapped strength.  He sends Nathan, whose name this time is Ann.

He is giving an abundance of sun today to warm the soil for my garlic, strawberries, raspberries and herbs.  I love Him.  I need Him.  He deserves all the adoration I can give Him.  And much more.

Monday morning:  Love language discussion at the restaurant last night.  This morning the hub: “Your book is going to be great!” as he headed out the door to work.  Daughter:  “Go momma, go!” as she headed off to work.  A few words of affirmation go such a long way.  Thank you.

I’m grateful for blogs – a place to share, meet people from around the world, care.

Thank you for icing the cake with freshly painted walls and beautiful new hardwood floors and with a hub who sticks with the task until it is completed, and puts his stuff away.

This morning:  Thankful for the joy of volunteering; for the chance to leave a fingerprint of love on a young soul.  I get to help first graders write stories today!  Yay, yay, yay.

Soft, warm blankets, a comfortable bed, coffee and the nourishment of breakfast.  And a hot shower, which I better get in if I’m going to get to the school on time.

“The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world.”  – Ann Voskamp