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Hugging the hurts

Today, at church, in the midst of chaos, it felt like time stood still for a little while. I was in the middle of teaching children’s church…I had kids running around, babies crying the nursery, and about 15 kids all say “Miss Kimberly!” at the same time…thats when Ben** came up to me to ask me a question.  I squatted down to get eye level with this precious little five year old boy, but when i was actually close to him he forgot his question.  He just kind of fell into my arms in an attempt to get a hug….more than a hug he would get from Miss Kimberly today…i picked him up with his head against my shoulder and his arms wrapped around my neck.  And there, in the midst of a multitude of kids coming up to me to ask me questions, tattle on someone, or tell me they were thirsty, I just rocked him… and sang softly to him…. and prayed for him…. just like i do for Daniel Josiah and Trinity. and then my eyes started to fill with tears. I wondered when the last time someone hugged him was.  I wondered when the last time he was shown affection and or someone put their hands on him other than to discipline or harm him.  I thought about his older brother who just started giving us a hard time, just like their older sister who completely shuts down and won’t respond to anyones hugs, words, prodding or discipline.  I wondered if he was on the path to become another rebellious, angry child like his older siblings. When we went to take him home i cried again, as i ushered him in the house and gave him one last hug and told him that Jesus loved him and was with him always.   But what was i taking him home to? More yelling, more neglect, more beatings, more sexual molestation?? I don’t know…I don’t know what half these kids go through at home. No wonder they act the way they do.  For a five year old, he still knew how to ask for love through cuddling, but give it two more years and that yearning for love would turn to an attitude, rebellion, violence and acting up.  I’ve seen it over an over again. Deuteronomy 33:27 says that “the eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” In tears, I cry out “Lord, be Ben’s refuge, hold him with Your everlasting arms, and in the mean time, may MY arms be vessels of that love and security to these hurting kids”

**his name has been changed to protect the identity of the child and his family