The Least of These

Recently, I had the opportunity to help my daughter and son-in-law in caring for two young girls, ages four and two. DHS removed them from their home in order to secure their safety from a violent environment. My daughter and her husband are listed as emergency contacts and are in the process of adopting a teenage boy they’ve been fostering for a couple years. They also have two boys of their own, and at that time, the oldest was two, the baby was two months. 

Therefore, I offered to help, but my daughter didn’t want to burden me. So, like most mothers, I packed a bag, not sure of what I was getting into. 

New experience? Yes. 

Burden? No. 

Both little girls arrived with runny noses and coughs, which quickly spread throughout the rest of the family. We nursed them to the best of our ability, as well as ourselves. The sudden change in weather called for a shopping trip for long pants and jackets. It truly was more than we expected. 
Taxing? Yes. Burden? No.

My heart broke as I listened to heart-wrenching stories from the dark-eyed four-year-old as she demonstrated how “daddy hit mommy in the face ‘like this’” and “mommy cried all day and couldn’t stop”. The oldest even composed their dysfunction into a singsong version as we prepared for a nightly bath, ending the song with ♫♪ “now we’re in another house and I like it here”. ♪♫

They should not be saying these things. 

We often pray, 

“God make us more like You. Give us eyes to see and hearts to feel what You do. Break our hearts for the things that break Yours.”

And if you are serious . . . He’ll do it. 

 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ ~ Matt. 25:34-40 

My daughter apologized for burdening me. It was no burden. It was enrichment, adding to breadth and depth of my heart as God worked His compassion in me. In fact, I needed it.

I confess that as a transforming introvert, I tend to hide from obstacles, lending a hand from the sidelines, a little intimidated by what I may find. 

Opportunity to grow in the Lord? Absolutely. 

But burden? 

Absolutely not. I am truly blessed by this experience.

And to little bright-eyed Walker and curly-haired Raylee:  You still tug at my heart and I pray for you daily. Thank you for breaking my heart. I needed you as much as you needed us. 

Ask the Lord to break your heart and see what experience He will bring to you to be the hands and feet of God. You will be blessed indeed.  

Father God, thank you for opportunities that remind us there is a bigger world out there than the safe one we carve out for ourselves. Break our hearts Lord, for the things that break Yours. Lead us to the one or ones who will bring us to the end of ourselves to be the hands and feet of God. Fill us with Your comfort, strength, compassion, and courage to step outside our comfort zones to be comforters to others in need of Your comfort.  2 Cor. 1:4  In Jesus' name, amen.