There comes a time in the life of a family when the diaper bags are put away, the floor is no longer strewn with legos, and the big glass door sparkles--without sticky fingerprints. It is then that manager-mom looks around with some satisfaction at the order she has worked so hard to create and sighs. Ahhhh, a season of relative rest after years of weary effort! Life is good.
As she looks through that CLEAN glass door, she sees lots of kids in the neighborhood, many who are known to her by name because they've shared the swing set and the pool and daily adventures alongside her own brood. She knows them and their parents well enough to chat pleasantly. She assumes that their lives are very much like her own. Until....
One sweet young face begins to show up more often. There's a wistful look when the child comes to the door and sees the family around the table. For this child, the long summer days are not punctuated with the familiar, "D-I-N-N-E-R!!" cry that beckons the other children home for meals.
He is alone. Oh, there is an older sibling in the house but seldom an adult. His kitchen is stocked with boxes of macaroni & cheese, chips, and a few convenience foods but little else. It is not clean. He doesn't eat breakfast, and lunch he's learned to do without. It's just not worth the effort to go home and make his own mac & cheese every day. He hopes his Dad will buy him a burger when he comes home late in the evening.
His story unfolds along with the summer: turbulence at home. No one says, "I love you." There's talk of major changes; earth-shattering changes that strike fear into a little person and he wishes he'd never been born.
Instinctively, the mom-across-the-street finds the room to shelter one more under her wings. No, it's not her chick but she has food enough to spare. He can sit at her table and when he does he ogles at the "real" dishes! He can try his hand at an art project along with the art student in the family. With his family's permission, he can join in worship with the blood-bought saints, the BIG family at whose table he can satisfy the deeper hunger of his soul.
I am that Mom and this child has forever changed me. Because of him, I've become more intuitive about other "skinny kids", the kids who have hungry souls. I've extended the tent pegs of my heart.
Save the world I cannot, and my little loaves of bread pale in comparison to the needs around me. But like the little boy who brought his loaves to Jesus, I can let Him bless and multiply my offering. The paradox is this: it's MY soul that's getting fat!
"...he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat...and he shall give thee rest; yea he shall give delight unto thy soul."