I just got a knock on my door from a 11 year old neighbor boy asking if I would play catch. I was in the middle of doing important “ministry” work, but since it was starting to get dark I figured I could spare a few minutes until the sun went completely down.
Nothing extraordinary happened. Our fingers froze. The ball got wet and slippery. We tried to see how far we could throw and kick. He had a field trip today. The Falcons are for sure going to win the Super Bowl. Nothing extraordinary.
Unless it is Extraordinary.
This is the same boy who this Summer threw a fit as I sent him home for fighting other kids at our house. He sounded like the dad from “A Christmas Story” as we walked down the alley; knocking over cans and swearing he’d never come back. This is the same boy who last Fall purposely hit my son in the back of the head at point blank range with a football. But, the more we get to know him and his family the more we love him.
Another neighbor girl comes over to talk with my wife and niece and braid hair. She was kicked out of her 3rd school in 3 years for fighting. I’ve sent her home many times for fighting and pulling hair. In fact, the first time I met her I had to pull her off another girl. But she keeps coming back.
Another neighbor boy comes with our family for swimming lessons. [It’s my wife’s personal mission to teach every kids on the block how to swim.] He’s broken down and cried at least 5 times in the past 2 weeks. Sometimes he doesn’t get the right kind of oranges. Other times he thinks I’m overlooking him. He’s learning to say the things he likes and doesn’t like. He likes pretzels for snacks after swimming, but not chocolate. This was a big deal for him to build up the courage to say.
What we’re learning
Mark 9: They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
35Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
36He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them,37“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
I’m learning that Love doesn’t keep a record of wrong. A good way to practice this is by welcoming children in to your home. They will hurt your feelings; either on purpose or accidentally. They will break your things. They will carve swear words in to your car. They will cry and shout and throw things. Then they will talk and share just a little glimpse of what their life is like. Then you want to cry and shout and throw things. Then you sit and cry and ask God to please help. Please help.
Matthew 9:36 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Would you join me in asking the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His harvest field? Please?