As I may have mentioned before (or maybe I just think about it a lot), I have mixed emotions when it comes to having kids here at the Mission.
I love when they crawl up onto my lap during chapel, I love seeing them run across the parking lot just so jazzed about everything, I even love having to tell them for the hundredth time to stop playing on the stairs.
They draw me pictures of their families, they tell me about everything that’s happening, they pretend like their hands are spiders to attempt to creep me out (it totally works. every time.), they remind me to not take things too seriously.
When there are kids here, sticks become swords or lightsabers, the cracks in our parking lot become the only safe places to walk so we’re not swallowed up by lava, and everything just gets so much more exciting.
I love them.
At the same time, if they’re here, it means that they’re homeless. It means that in their short lives, they have already known displacement and confusion and fear about the future.
It means they don’t have their own bed with Spiderman sheets or a kitchen table to sit around or a place to invite their friends to come hang out. It means they stand in line for meals and attempt to do their homework in a room filled with everything their family owns.
When there are kids here, there is a heightened need to make this as safe a place as possible, it becomes even more obvious that one person’s choices can so easily affect others, and it seems as though reality sets in hard.
But these kids are survivors.
Through them, I am learning what it means to fully trust the Lord. These kids have been through a lot, but they still believe that their parents want what’s best for them. In some cases, they’re absolutely right. In others, the parents don’t actually want that, or they do but they have no idea how to go about providing for or supporting their children.
Whatever the situation, most of these kids trust that this time will be the time that their moms or dads get it right. They move forward blindly, recognizing that, for now, someone else is in charge of their life. And they trust that whoever is leading will make the right decision.
The obvious difference here is that the Lord does, in fact, always make the right decision with regards to our lives. Whether or not we think that’s true at the time, it always eventually becomes clear that what He thought was best was actually way better than what we were thinking.
And so, I am realizing that this blind trust that these kids have been modeling for me is what is necessary to follow Jesus. He doesn’t always give us the plan ahead of time, he simply asks us to follow.
Stepping out in faith means we don’t always see where our feet are going.