it was two weeks ago on thursday that i went to watch him play.
loaded up my one week old girl and while she slept, i watched her daddy guard that net.
and our home, we opened it up for the boys on the team - a place to be warm and safe before the shoes were slipped on and the match was to start and there was an extra little boy that joined them...
he throws his arms around my neck when he first comes charging up our stairs - hangs on tight and whispers an excited "hi!" in my ear...
within minutes i hear the happy yelling from down below and i know he's found them - my older three and there won't be much calming down for a while now...
i know he'll be at the game too and while i pack up snacks, i throw an extra one in for him and i see him watch the handful of other people there, i watch his eyes as he watches them hand out food to each other. i see the longing.
so i call his name.
i motion him over.
i have something for you too.
and i don't know what he needs more of - a little baggie of trail mix, or the nearness of my arm. so i hold still and let him sit close. i encourage his choice of picking out all the m&m's and leave the rest of the good stuff behind.
and it's not long before he's up and running, playing hide-and-go-seek with one of his friends...
but soon, the clock ticks later and not even the excitement of the game can hold him rapt. he climbs up the bleachers to sit near my legs,
and soon, he's leaning into me - and i recognize the signs. sleep isn't far off.
and soon, he's turned so that he can place his small head on my knees and i know how bony they are, so i reach for a blanket pink and lean forward and ask him to lift his head,
i place the pink flannel beneath his cheek and as i lean close i hear him whisper,
i wish i could live with you.
sometimes it hurts.
seeing all of that hurt, hearing of all the hurt, watching young lives self-destruct...
sometimes, there's no words that can be used.
you just lay down at night and pull up the blankets close under chin and reach for each others hands and wonder what more you can do?
sometimes the nightmares come, the ones that jolt you awake as you call out the name of Jesus, and you can't catch your breath because it was all too real and as the inky sky begins to grey, your eyes are still open, your prayers just as broken,
but you are so very sure He is there.
and i don't know why i write all this down...maybe because i don't want to become jaded or calloused. maybe because the need is so very real - the brokenness more shattered than i ever imagined. maybe because one day this young boy will grow up and with all the evil in the streets around us, i worry over him. worry over so many who walk through the mission doors.
and Jesus asks us not to worry, but to trust. trust that He is the same today, yesterday and forever; that tomorrow has enough worries of its own - but because The One Who is timeless and who has planned out all these days is in control, i can let go of my anxiety.
i can lean close against Him and know that someday, everything that is wrong and broken and imperfect will be fixed...
that it won't be just a longing anymore,
someday i will live in His presence completely whole...