Now and Later
This school year is almost over. Will I ever see these kids again after May? I wonder.
On Thursday afternoons, my daughter Jenna has let me come for an hour or so into her kindergarten class she teaches to listen to the kids practice their sight words or read books or play games.
And I’ve fallen in love.
With who the kids are now.
And with who the kids can be later.
But it’s the later I’m concerned about.
How Many Strikes?
Several of these children already have strikes against them.
- Broken homes
- Housing instability
- Racial discrimination
- Inadequate health care
Will they have strength and resources enough to overcome the challenges they’ll have to face?
An Unpleasant Vision
I don’t like something I’ve imagined.
It’s just an image in my mind’s eye. But I know it’s a possibility.
The adults that Kay and I take meals to on Wednesday afternoons also have strikes against them.
- Physical disabilities
- Mental disabilities
- Low incomes
- Poor housing
- Minimal social support
A few weeks ago, as we stepped into the room to set down a meal for one of the gentlemen (I’ll call him Big J for here), I saw a resemblance to one of the kindergarten kids that I love, Little J.
Little J could be Big J one day.
Would Little J grow into this?
- Living alone in an apartment that smells?
- Depending on others for daily needs?
- Strung out on medicines to get through the day’s pain?
I wanted to cry. It’s not the life I want to imagine for Little J.
Hold on to Hope
Thankfully, it’s unlikely the life he will have. I met his dad on a field trip. He cares. And Little J cares, too (he hates to miss a single sight word out of 100). I can tell his parents help him at home. I expect him to grow up and do well if he can stay on this path.
I want to have hope. For Little J. For all of these kids.
So I pray.
- For the kids
- For their caretakers
- For Jenna as she loves hard and fast on them this year
- For the new teachers who will have them next year
And I pray for me. That I won’t lose hope for these children.
Lord, have mercy.
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Prayer and hope are resources we each have available. May we never underestimate their power, but rather see them as gifts God has given us to share as blessings to others. Who are you praying for this week? Please share in the comments.
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