When we first moved to our new house it became immediately apparent that we didn’t just buy a home, we bought a neighborhood.
We have wonderful neighbors, who have wonderful kids. . .and these kids are my biggest issue.
One morning I opened my front door and a scraggly, little, blond-haired boy was perched in my tree, and he hasn’t left since.
The first few times this boy played with my son I was FULL of anxiety.
First off he is older, 2 years older then my son and 5 years older then my daughter.
Second, he was violent, or at least by my standards. This kid has definitely been exposed to video games that I probably wouldn’t want my husband playing, much less my son.
And third, he is ALWAYS here. I felt like I couldn’t let my kids outside because this older boy was always in the way.
(Doesn’t that sound so yucky? Trust me. I am not proud of that.)
Then one day after sending my kids inside for a nap, I realized that, really and truly, this boy was LITERALLY always here.
Once he didn’t have my kids to play with he just laid down in my little-red-wagon and stayed there in the front yard. . .
I eventually brought him water and slathered him in sunscreen and my heart broke.
I’d been acting like a crazy momma-bear, only focusing on the safety of MY kids, and it hadn’t occurred to me that maybe I should think about the safety of this one.
Maybe he spends all day at my house, not because he wants to take advantage of my babies and their toys, but because he doesn’t want to go home.
So, I ever so slowly started to allow this boy to infiltrate our lives.
I would let my kids play with him, but only in the front yard, then one day I allowed them in the back, then one day I allowed them to come inside, and then eat a snack, and then watch a movie…
And before I knew it, he was having multiple meals with us and staying until bedtime.
I kept drawing a boundary, and then moving it and drawing a new one.
Where is the line?
And this is the issue I’ve been wrestling with for sometime.
That is until I picked up this book:
And within the first few pages I found my answer.
There isn’t one…there is no line.
I am simply called to love.
Without borders, without limits.
Matthew 25:40 says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
It goes on in verse 43 to say, “I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”
(I desperately do not want to be guilty of this kind of behavior.)
This beautiful boy needs me to love him, he needs me to offer him food, and shelter, and the kindness that only a mother can give. I know very little about his home life, but even if he is very well loved within the walls of his house, he would still need love from me as well.
So, I am committing myself to love him fully, without exception.
I commit my home to him, for whatever he needs: food, safety, a harbor.
I commit my ears, my heart, my understanding.
Whatever he needs.
I am simply DESPERATE to have more children.
I’ve always wanted a large family. The desire for it keeps me up at night. The aching for it often causes waves of tears to overcome me.
But if I’m being honest I want a large family, that comes in (my idea of) a pretty little package.
I want a smiling happy newborn to hold.
I want a perfect little african boy, or a darling little asian girl.
I want twin babies, a boy and a girl. I want to be in a hospital room and cut the cord. I want to bring a child into my life from their very first breath, so that no one else has had the chance to damage them, so that no one else’s influence will be in my home…around my children.
But this child. . . well this boy isn’t much of a child at all.
He’s 8. And has been exposed to too much, already.
Plus, he isn’t actually mine.
He doesn’t sleep here, I don’t get to spend my mornings with him. He just comes and goes and it is NOT how I pictured my family expanding.
BUT, maybe this is exactly where God needs me.
Where he is going to use my heart for children to have it’s greatest impact.
Maybe while I pray silently in my sleep for a bigger family, while I’m begging God to bless me with babies, reasoning that I simply have “so much more to give” that God is gently whispering,
“You’re right, you do have more to give. So maybe you should give it to the little-boy who is currently spending his days living in your tree.”
I was just coming to this realization over the weekend when I got distracted by an overwhelming self-pity.
I woke up on Saturday feeling lonely and tired of living in a town where all of my friends are “new”.
I was wallowing in this selfishness when this young boy showed up at my door with this rock:
Which he gave to me because he said I was, “so nice.”
Do you see how amazing that is?
This boy, who I kept trying to hold at a distance, the boy our neighbors refer to as, “satan”, this boy who doesn’t fit in with my idea of a “big family”,
This boy was the friend I needed during a moment of personal darkness.
This young-man that God is challenging me to love without condition, loved me instantly and easily, when I needed it most.
The truth of this is life-changing to me.
The beauty of it cannot be overstated.
Here I was thinking that I needed to show this kid God’s love and that little rag-a-muffin turned my issue on it’s head and showed God’s love to me instead.
What a beautifully deep lesson.
My faith is made stronger, thanks to this scraggily, little, blond-haired boy.
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”