Let the children come….
She said it calmly and resolutely.
“Come on, sweetheart, all my kids have to go in to go to bed now. I need to take you home.”
Again, just as calmly and firmly as before.
I had seen her a couple of days earlier, riding her tricycle around followed by her sari-draped grandmother.
This night, with our bike brigade of our own children plus the two “adopted” ones, we had started trekking around our street to deliver cookies we had made and flyers for a kids club we are having next week. She was tricycling around alone. A four year old.
We stopped by a few houses and came to hers and told her we wanted to go give her family some cookies. “No, don’t go there.” she said. Puzzled, I re-explained that we wanted to give them some cookies and talk to her family. Again, she told me not to ring the doorbell. Another neighbor who had joined the parade said, “Oh, I think she be scared of her grandfather.”
Of course we still rang the doorbell and delivered the cookies and talked with the family. Evidently she lives with her great-grandparents, aunt, and full time working young mom. I asked permission to bring her around with us to make our other deliveries, which she willingly did, but hardly speaking a word, and never with a smile.
When the evening was over, and we had invited the fifeteen children on our street representing six different countries to our kids club, it was time to get Karishma home.
The process reminded me of being in Newark trying to return children to homes where they just didn’t want to be, maybe for reasons I’m fearful to know about. A simple stubbornness to go. FINALLY, we convinced her to return with me and I walked home with a heavy heart, not knowing why exactly she didn’t want to go.
But I also walked away, asking the Lord to meet her through our family, and praying that Jesus would show up in a powerful way next week at the simple little afternoon sessions of Bible lessons, crafts, games and snacks that we will be hosting in our home.
Would you be willing to pray the same? For her, and for the children of the nations who we pray will be joining us?