Last night I was restless—very little sleep. Another unexpected One Life Story took action on yesterday’s rainy Saturday when the doorbell chimed and I heard Sadie’s quick feet race to the door. Before I could get there, she was already running back to me, in hushed urgent whispers saying,“Mom! There is a woman and her boy here and they are asking for Ami.”
“Who is it?”
I was perplexed; our kids usually know everyone we encounter, especially Sadie. She holds names and faces deep within her impenetrable steel mind trap.
“I don’t know them.”
“You don’t know them, but they asked for me by name?”
“Yes—they keep asking to see Ami.”
I stood at the door, and this woman and her son stared back at me in complete desperation. The looks of fear that their faces possessed will remain embedded in my mind. They had walked to our door . . . on foot . . . in the rain . . . the mom holding nothing but a small purse.
Before I could exchange pleasantries of any kind, I was interrupted with trembling words, “Do you have a phone? Can I use your phone? We need to get away. We can’t go back. We can’t go back.”
I quickly welcomed them in and she immediately asked if she could sit down at a connection room table to pull herself together. I said, “Let me walk you into the café; we have couches there and you will be more comfortable.”
They were with us for only about an hour. During that time, we asked strategic questions and received both honest and questionable responses. As I gently asked her about the cigarette shaped fresh burn marks that she was trying to conceal under her sleeve, she shifted her weight and dismissed them as grease splashed from the stove, the boy whispering, “Lying. Lying,” under his breath.
While we talked, the boy pulled a toy gun out from his shirt. It about scared me to death as I prayed to God that it be really just a toy! Even though it was not an actual weapon concealed, it revealed much. As he begged her not to be sent to his father, his hands moved the gun to his face and above his own head while he said to her, “If I have to go back to him, I will kill myself.”
Mike made arrangements to get them to a safe place for the night, and he drove them there while I stayed here with our kids, who were none-the-wiser. . . safe in the backroom . . . playing and drawing superheroes in sketchbooks . . . their room decorated in innocence.
When Mike arrived home, he told me that the little boy was fascinated by the ride to the safe place. He had never seen automated doors before, or a DVD player (albeit a broken one) that hangs from the ceiling of the interior. He was fascinated by automatic windows and asked if he could read the book belonging to the kids that was left on the back seat. Mike said that he enjoyed this special short ride in a spaceship, a spaceship known to us as a Honda Odyssey — the minivan driven by the majority of our friends!??! (In fact, ours is even one of the most common colors, and at a recent home school training event, I had to click my lock button in order to hear my van, camoflaged in the row with FIVE others just like it, beep to identify itself as a Shroyer!) Finally, before Mike drove away from them, he handed over sixty dollars for two days of food, and they acted like they had just been given a thousand, the boy’s eyes as big as Saturn’s rings.
“I can tell you guys are Christians,” he mentioned to Mike with a thankful smile.
For the rest of last night, I was consumed with thoughts and prayers for them. Thoughts of their “now where do we go from here” drove my restlessness and provoked my lack of sleep. I finally began to drift off to sleep to find myself in my dreams, teaching the classroom that we have begun here at Cre8Home/Wide Open Acres. Our own home school is called Wide Open Academy, and in my dream, I saw this boy AND his mother learning along with us. I saw some specific people that we know who have overcome severe addiction assigned to other kids just like this boy in a one-to-one adult-to-child ratio… and this boy, who is most probably falling through many cracks, and getting passed along through the grades, was BRIGHT! He was learning just like my son learns. He was developing stories and diagramming difficult sentences right alongside my beautiful boy. His mother, together with other children AND adults was . . . learning. They each were awakening both to the things of God, and to the potential of their intended purposes!
I *had* to wake up Mike, but I didn’t want to interrupt him, for he was finally sleeping well. So I just whispered a tiny, “Are you awake?”
Praise GOD—he heard me and responded, or I just would have burst! I started to talk, and talk . . . and talk, and soon he was talking and dreaming right along with me, as we sometimes do through the watches of the night.
So many pieces to this ministry we call Cre8 have been coming together over time. While the “real life playing out” of details carry within them parts of the vision’s image, the needs being met are WAY DEEPER! The images that seem to get brush-stroked in by the Hand of God contain the MORE BEAUTIFUL, the GREATER NEED, and the IMPOSSIBLE MADE POSSIBLE that no vision without the Hand of The Sovereign God could ever see “created” apart from Him.
I was going to end this post with a vision list of “what if we could ____?” and list them just using this One Life situation that is right now upon us as the example. But I am going to write that in the next post and refer back. You see, God is bringing us people who are facing demons of their past and present circumstances, and desperately seeking a new awakening. Homes are hurting and standardized systems can only go so far in healing.
Last week, a friend of mine asked me some questions about the ways we speak to our children and how we lead them in spiritual things. In sharing just how we end our nighttime prayers, I was overcome that EVERY ONE LIFE needs exactly the same things that our two children need. Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers, Sons, Daughters, Young, Old …
We need to be Safe.
We need to be Loved.
From there, much can happen to brighten, even rescue, a life.
So let me end by telling you what we pray each night over our own two children. This is for every child. Every age. This is for you.
Send Your angels to watch over us and protect us.
Please give each of our children
A Healthy Body,
A Happy Heart,
A Teachable Spirit,
A Love for Worship,
A Peaceful Soul,
Patience and Understanding of the world around them,
Give them the Wisdom to know what is right
And the Courage to do it.
Please help them Stand Up for those who cannot stand up for themselves,
And to Walk in the Light of Your Son.
In You, we are Safe.
In You, we are Loved.
It’s in Jesus’ Name that we ask and believe,
There are so many “If We Only Could’s” happening right now all around us, and by living outside of our natural abilities, there always will be.
That’s good, because it shows God’s faithful ability in using our availability. And what He does is far greater than what we could ever do; He is the Only One Who can make the eternal differences in a One Life.
*** Today played out, and involved spending more time with that Mom and her boy. Tomorrow, many decisions will be made, and I am thankful that we do have friends surrounding us that are getting messy too, and getting involved. Any road out of abuse takes time, and tomorrow is one new day with another chance.
*** Please read my next post; I will open up regarding our new ministry year and what we hope to see happen. We are miraculously still on this land, and even though the needs are coming in faster than the means, we are okay and God is faithful with providing Daily Bread.
As you lay your head to rest this night, be ever so grateful for the Life and the Home you have. We could consume our time dreaming about the health of the Church at large and the meeting of needs in our surrounding communities. All we know is this: Any time the doorbell rings, we will answer it. Wide Open.
Dream Sweet Dreams.
You are safe.
You are loved.
That’s all you need.