“Do you hear what these children are saying?” They asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise.’” –Matthew 21:16 (see also Psalm 8:2)
There we sat preparing to have breakfast yet again at our hotel, as our household goods
had gotten delayed. The first couple of days at the hotel, my toddler had been so excited at the array of options to choose from in the breakfast line. But not today, today he was focused on the young boy sitting in the corner of the room all alone. I tried to get his attention by asking what sounded good and enticing him with a waffle, but nothing could break his stare. As I sat down and began to pass out silverware, plates with food, and juice, he asked me wholeheartedly, “Mommy, that yittle boy doesn’t have a mommy and daddy?” I explained to him that he probably did have a mommy and daddy, but they just were not at breakfast with him that morning. Then came the dreaded whys. Why don’t his mommy and daddy want to eat with him? Where are they? Is he sad?
All day, I was enraptured by this conversation with my 3 year old. While it seemed so simple and short lived, it spoke volumes to my soul. My son KNEW something was wrong. He could read this little boys face and was engulfed in his loneliness. He wanted to know why, and he wanted to fix it. He wanted his parents to be there with him and he wanted the little boy to smile. God has given children such great faith.
Matthew 18:3 says “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
I don’t know what this verse says to your heart, but ya’ll God wants us to see the hurting and really see them. Children of divorced/separated/ abusive/negligent/etc. parents are hurting. They are hurting. Our culture LIES to us. They tell us, “Oh the children will be fine. They are resilient and young.” This is simply not true. We have got to stop buying into the lies our culture feeds us. Marriage is hard, but divorce is not ok. Children do not “bounce back”. Children are hurt, scared, and left lonely as a result. We need to accept this truth, so we can help love those children (and adults for that matter) who are so broken by their upbringing.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. — Proverbs 31:8-9
“If not us, then who?”
This is the question I have been asking myself over and over again since our encounter with little Daniel. That was the little boy’s name, as we learned within minutes of talking to him. He was so sad, though he hid it well under the biggest grin you have ever seen once we started chatting with him. He immediately moved to the table next to ours and began pouring his heart out. He has six siblings and is so proud of each of them. As he began speaking of his parents and their separation, his smile faded. You could see the hurt and despair in his eyes as he told us that he was visiting this hotel so he could see his dad for a few days before going home. He refused to linger on these hurt feelings though and quickly jumped to the next topic.
My heart was so blessed by our visit with sweet Daniel. We may have only been a conversation in his life, but I can assure you my three year old and I prayed numerous times for him that day. God is showing me his heart on this, and He so longs for us to SEE these kids and love them. We can’t let them get blurred into the background by pretending they are ok. They want and need to be seen and heard. Friends, please let’s see them and love them together.