They aren’t so hungry these days. Mom has a job, and the food stamps got upped, too.
They still want to come, and they want to play, and sometimes they are really off the wall.
They ride the bikes and riding toys that are in the shed around and around, crash into each other, scream and fight and lie and sometimes steal.
They tell tall tales of imagined adventure and conflict.
I look into their beautiful faces and wonder if Jesus will ever be given a chance to make a difference in their lives.
Things were strange last night. I picked them up around six, and brought them here and they wanted to ride bikes while I got supper on. I suddenly realized that the six year old was sprawled out on the area rug in the sunroom, just as peaceful as could be, and the ten year old was beside her. Muffy, the little one, seemed to be enjoying the cool, and since it was so hot outside, I didn’t blame her a single bit. I went in and talked to her, and she smiled peacefully at me, but didn’t much engage in conversation. I thought Mya seemed a little over solicitous as she hovered around. And as the evening progressed, it was apparent that there was something really different about Muffy. She just wanted to sleep.
Then Mya came out to the kitchen and said, “The reason Muffy is so sleepy is that she was really, really out of control at home, and Mom thought she needed to calm down so she gave her her sleeping medicine before she came.”
I must have looked puzzled because she hastened to explain, “LJ and Muffy both need sleeping medicine so they can sleep. Mom told her to try not to sleep here, but I guess she can’t help it.”
It was that way all evening. None of the usual things that interested her could attract her attention. She slept on the floor, she slept on the wing chair, she slept on my recliner, and she almost slept on the golf cart ride that I made her go on just before I took them home. I had hoped that the fresh evening air, the excitement of the meadow and the evening sounds and colors would rouse her a bit, but nothing diverted her from that deep, deep need to sleep.
Finally, a little after nine, I packed them all up and took them home. My “easiest” night with them had quickly turned into my most troubling. My heart, heavy in my chest became hot tears on the way home. What is there in these children’s lives that makes it impossible for a six year old and an eight year old to not be able to sleep?
I asked Muffy in one of the moments I had alone with her if there was something bothering her. “No,” she said in her little girl voice. She insisted that she wasn’t having nightmares, didn’t have anything that was making her sad, etc., but something is so amiss. Medication for ADHD in the morning, medication to sleep at night . . .
What will this lead to?
Where will it end?
God help the children!
And we can leave our porch lights on for a murdered child in Florida (and we SHOULD care about this) but we cannot be bothered with the children on our doorsteps.
God help His People to see what we can do to make a difference.