Thursday, February 5, 2009

One step forward.

One of the little boys staying with us is nine and tough as nails. We'll call him H. He's been suspended for fighting at school a couple of times so far this year and was suspended again Friday for more of the same.

I've learned, in this ministry, my heart is drawn to just this kind of kid. They're the ones who have a great sense of humor, will actually talk to you and tell you how they're feeling but who have hair-trigger tempers and can go from zero to sixty faster than you can say, "SELF-CONTROLISAFRUITOFTHESPIRIT!!!". From what I've seen, they want desperately to be kids but circumstances have forced them to grow up fast, and their self-preservation trumps wisdom every time.

Sunday night, H. was picking pretty hard on his younger brother and Graham had enough. Graham is sweet as buttermilk pie but scrappy and defended the cause of the weak. He tackled this boy who is three years older than him and bigger and H. proceeded to flip him over and start to beat the tar out of my baby.

Both were hysterical but, in the process of calming H. down, I saw something I didn't expect. He was crying uncontrollably and he kept saying, "I want my mommy!"

Of course he did. It killed me. He's just a baby. It was as if he'd gotten away from himself. As if he didn't want to hit Graham. As though he knew Graham was sticking up for his brother like he should have been doing but defending himself superceeded doing the right thing.

After some cooling off at Mindy and Garrett's, we had a long talk and apologies and forgiveness offered from both boys.

A day later, before Graham was going to bed, H. drew this picture and put it on Graham's pillow.

It says, I'm sorry and Best Friends.

In return, Graham wrote F.R.I.E.N.D.S in Bendaroos on a book and put it on H.'s pillow.

Both boys' countenance was utterly changed with the freedom reconciliation gave. Both saw humility dissolve anger like a consuming fire.

Monday, I asked H. if he thought we should go 'clear the air' with the boy he'd fought with on Friday resulting in his suspension. They have grown up together in the neighborhood and had always been friends. Didn't he think it was worth talking through. He said he did and when could we go. He asked several times a day for two days then, yesterday, Trey took him over.

Both boys apologized, shook hands, and did what neither have seen modeled for them by the men in their lives. They each took responsibility and righted a wrong.

Today, H. was back in school. Hoping he didn't have any more altercations, I asked him how his day was. He said it was o.k.

Just o.k.? When pressed, he said he didn't like what they served for lunch.

It made him fart.

Baby steps, people. Baby steps.



Angela said...

OH, I love this story!

I hear ya on this type of kid. They steal my heart at 9 and at 16. We often entertain one of my husband's football players who also grew up way to fast.

OH, his temper at times--but the boy has a heart that melts me. He was here most of tonight doing homework, teasing my kids, playing video games with Coach, and melting my heart more and more. :-)

God Bless you--for loving these kids!!

Praying for you,

Holli said...

kids that have to be adults make me cry.
the picture left with best friends made me cry.
frien makes me cry.
FORGIVENESS and healing makes me cry.
God is good. Thank you for being so open to the "adults" in your neighborhood.

melanie said...

you may have to go out and buy a new magna-doodle. That is a keeper.

Mrs. Troop said...

Blessings on your home as you share His love with the fatherless. You amaze me! And if you figure out the laundry solution, PLEASE tell me. I'm drowing here. :-)

Kim said...

What a precious story and what rich lessons in our command to Love Thy Neighbor!
Praying for you all!

Kim said...

You and I are kindred spirits. I feel the same way about the kiddos in my school. I often connect with the tough boys and get attached. They have so much potential, but they have never had the opportunity to be a child under the love, care and nurturing of a functional adult.

I so want to scoop them up and take them home with me.

Kate said...

Wow, that was a pretty BIG baby step for the boys!! Praising Him for the impact you are having on the world around you, friend!!

These Three Kings said...

ohhh Jesus!! I love the lives you have given us!!
One to love thy neighbor as thy self and to see you on earth as well as in HEAVEN!!

PRAISing the LORD with you my sister!

so in AWE of HIS GRACE right now!

lubs you!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Very poignant.