As I walked in- I was shocked at how busy it was. Packed with high schoolers of all ages- races- sizes- & walks of like. I couldn't quite find where the line began- so as I was asking others if they were waiting to order, I became very aware that I was the oldest person in the building.
I was a little caught off guard that I had to wait for my "order" to be filled (aka... pass me a large sweet tea cup)- but I wasn't put off by this.
As I waited- I watched- I listened.
small children, on their own, being led by just slightly older children
despite the cold and windy weather... provocative clothing
foul language I have only heard from infantry men & sailors
disrespect of each other
a young confused kid power walk thru the crowd shoving each person in his way- he arrived at the counter & began yelling at the worker about his fries not being "hot"- he started throwing them at her- a manager walked up to help- the fries thrown at her- comments made from him to her & right back at him. he reached in a box near the counter to grab sauce packets & threw them at them. once he got his now "hot" fries- he turned and loudly called out someone's name then pushing his way thru the waiting crowd to get to another person to begin calling them names & talking about a party this weekend.
fingers snapping for people to pay attention to them or look them in the eyes or to be quiet or name calling to get someone's attention
It's Sodom & Gomorra- but worse!
I could see the life-sucking figures- nail sunken deep- attached to them... they turned and look at me- "these are ours!" they screeched
more and more kept pouring in the doors
I felt the place getting smaller
I filled my cup
I excused myself as I was walking through the place, not to run into anyone- smiling the whole way- even though my heart was heavy
As I walked to my car... deep breath...
The tears began as I closed my car door.
"God- this is what You have to work with? This is the next generation? OH God!!!"
All my thoughts went to what I had just witnessed... it has reached our children... what are we to do?
I felt broken hearted and overwhelming sadness as I thought of these children- any child in this day & age. This is just one building in a medium size city, and this is mild Im sure.
I cried out to Him... "Thank You that You are so much bigger & greater than my little mind. This is too much for me to hold. God- you love these children- each one- they are not too far gone- help them find You. Help them turn away from the world & see what is eternal & good & righteous. Help this next generation. Help us!"
I sat in silence for a while... sobbing
As I drove to the elementary school to get the Boy, I prayed, "let me see You here. Lighten my heart but not to forget what I saw."
I had watched the seriousness of these teachers before. Radios- name tags in the cars for kids- ID's of people picking them up- no child without an escort or known destination. It was a work of elementary school dismissal art.
Near the buses, a teacher loudly commented to a child walking out of the building with her parent... "Miss Amy, your valentines box is most beautiful." A smile was plastered across this little girls face as she walked proudly out with her mom & highly decorated and bedazzled box in hand.
my heart melted
In the office they checked my ID and called over the radio for the Boy. I again found myself watching...
a small boy holding the door for a parent
the 6 girls in the office with their moms were so full of life & laughter & excitement talking about who gave which valentine & their favorite
the older girl using the overhead mic to announce the next bus number release for the children- she walked with such pride with her yellow hall vest through the door to watch the children being released and filling the awaiting bus
I was trying to hold my tears back standing, watching, waiting, listening
the Boy and his new black mustache walked in & was surprised but smiling to see me
my heart leapt at the this sight- peace and innocence
"God- there is hope that not all is lost. Thank You for this reminder."
My mind raced as we drove to the park.
How can I make a difference?
Maybe I won't be a mom. It really doesn't matter if I bear flesh.
For the second time in my life- a picture of older children flashed through- these kids were in my care- they saw me a their parent- did not call me mom, but friend, elder, respectful & loving protector.
There are tons of kids that are "not wanted" due to their age... maybe these kids are meant to be mine. I can remember God promising to open wide my tents- actually that they would be busting at the tent pegs...
I receive Your call to protect & pray for these kids. And if You give some into my keeping- I will do as You want.
We are to teach our children what it means to love God, to love others, to live not of this world but of eternity. We are responsible for the changing of the atmosphere- the rewiring of their precious minds that will one day impact the world in ways we do not know.
Lord, when You are ready- I will receive the children You bring. I will love them & teach them as You have loved & taught me. Thank You for laying this heavy on my heart. And I am thankful that You love the children & say come. That You have not given up on us yet.