All of the kids at the Juniper Tree have hard stories in their past, but there is something about this one that makes me cry every time I think about it. I try to imagine what it must have been like for him; my thoughts go to Davy (my seven-year-old) being alone on the streets at night and knowing how terrified she would be makes me sick to my stomach.
I hate what happened to him. I hate that he had to experience that fear and vulnerability and danger as a little boy. It makes me angry.
It's easy to let my anger be directed towards the parents. I mean, who does that?! The anger rushes over me each time I hear a new story of the awful things that go on in this wretched world. How can people be so capable of evil towards their own precious children?
While I believe that anger is a reasonable response to their stories, I was challenged by a grace-filled attitude towards these parents in a blog post written by another Kids Alive missionary. He wrote:
...this redemption extends beyond the children to stand in the gap for their natural parents and families, who have been unable to care for their children. Perhaps [the Children's Home's] reach grasps some of the desperate longings of these parents and relatives, who may be trapped in the despair of poverty and its patterns.
The truth is that it's likely that few of these parents, at the birth of their children, had starry-eyed dreams of abandoning, abusing or leaving their babies alone on the street. Like you and me, their hearts probably melted with one look into their eyes; they probably felt fierce protection of them, if only briefly. Sadly, sin, selfishness, and addiction are nasty, horrible things that sneak in and trap, ensnare and make slaves of us. There but for the grace of God, go I.
Despite my anger, I have to admit that many of these families probably have deep longings for restoration but are trapped in their sin and in the generational cycles of sin. Which is heartbreakingly sad.
What hope we have in Jesus! He has set us free!
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Romans 6:6-7
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25
Praise God!! The generational cycles of sin can STOP with these kids!!
Praise God!! The hopes and dreams of these parents for their children can be realized through the work of Kids Alive!!
Praise God!! From everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children- Psalm 103:17