Almost daily, today being no exception, we have a throng of children trickle into our house after school. We have our regulars, Quincy, Tony, Kim, Boy, and then we have the not so regulars. These are usually boys who know my husband (so they call me Mrs. Trey), and come because they hear the noise from all the other children that are in my home. There's a kickball game in the front and "crack the egg" on the trampoline in the back. Although it sounds as though we would, we've never had an injury serious enough to have to call in reinforcements.
What has taken me far too long to realize is that these children have learned something else about my home. Dinner's at 6:00.
Our afternoon usually starts very benignly. "Mrs. Trey, can we jump?" They just want to jump on the trampoline in back, right? No strings, no mess, nothing.
"Mrs. Trey, can I have some water?" Here we go.
"Can I have an apple?" I keep a ton of apples on hand for them so they know they're always welcome. I save the hot cheetos for myself.
"Are you cooking dinner? Can I help?"
And that's about all it takes. Come 5:45, I'm praying over the dinner I've planned asking the Lord to stretch it. "I need loaves and fishes, Lord, loaves and fishes."
And at 6:00 we sit down to eat. Pulling up chairs from all over the house and breaking bread with these precious kiddos.
Sometimes it's grilled fish, sometimes it's grilled cheese sandwiches, and sometimes, Trey supplements with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Despite the chaos, it's become one of my favorite parts of living where we do.
A while back, before I knew the code, we got a knock on our door right at 6:00. It was a rare night where it was just our family. At the door were 2 brothers and their little sister. Trey opened the door and said "Hey guys!"
"Can we jump?"
"We're just now sitting down to dinner but ya'll are welcome to come jump tomorrow." The next day, he found out their mother was severly depressed and they had no food in the house. They had come because they were hungry. As we see the Lord continue to make extra where there is none, our prayer is that a child will never leave our house hungry again. Even if I have to share the hot cheetos.
Thank you Lord, that you promise not only to use us, but to make us useful.