Monday, April 02, 2007

Father to the Fatherless

I have been volunteering with kids this winter. My little friend that I've been working with smells bad, like they haven't cleaned up properly after an accident. It was really strong today. Today she announced she had cold lunch. It was a piece of bread in a baggie. That was it! She did at least buy a milk. She struggles in school and is starving for attention.

Most parents are doing their best to love and raise their kids, but there are those on the extreme ends of the spectrum. Some parents are over-achievers as far as outward things go. They'll do whatever they have to so they look good on the outside, although no one knows what things are like with the things that really count. Then there are those kids whose parents don't seem to care at all. I feel so devastated that they care so little. How hard is it to run a bath, wash some clothes or pack a decent lunch? I suppose it could be laziness or lack of interest on their part.

So, I've been wondering, what is my responsibility in these situations? I want to call the parents and yell at them. It seems like a nice little self-esteem boost for me to be able to shake my head and feel like I am so much better than them. I want to look the other way and not think about it. But what I should do is reach out and love. I need to show her the One who is a Father to the fatherless. It isn't easy because I feel like I am so "busy" raising my own family. But these are exactly the times when Jesus wants to use us. When I think of great Christians throughout history, they were simply people that saw a need and used what God had given them to meet the need and show Christ's love. I know there are some simple things I can do to reach out, but it's going to involve time and sacrifice.

It is too easy for me to walk away from the tough situations in life. I don't want to get involved, it might get messy. But Jesus has me in the world to shine His light to those around me, as difficult as they may be to love. I put the card my student made me on my bulletin board so I would not be able to put it out of my mind. Keep me accountable on this one!

Psalm 68:4-6
Sing to God, sing praises to His name;

Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts,

Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him.

A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows,

Is God in His holy habitation.

God makes a home for the lonely;

He leads out the prisoners into prosperity,

Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.


Christy said...

So sad! I hope the school social worker is involved with this one. Find out.

Jenn said...

Michelle - you just made me think of a time when I was at the YMCA with my 2 year (he's 8 now) son and he was playing with some letter blocks. This little, dirty, snotty nosed girl came up and wanted to play too. I had the worst thoughts (judging, etc.) and was hoping she would just go away. My son didn't pay much attention. Then she sneezed all over. My thought was "Oh, man, now what germs did we just pick up!" Meanwhile, my son turned to her and said, "Bless you." At that moment, God spoke to my heart big time and convicted me that what she needed was a someone to love her and bless her not someone passing more judgement. I'll never forget that. I hope God makes it clear to you how you can bless this student and love her well. Thanks for sharing.