The water runs as I fill the water pitcher again. For the second time in less than five minutes.
It goes for the 40th time today. For the 40th time since three 'o clock and it is now...7:30.
I rise. Smile. Remember Who is in me. Who loves them. Who loves me.
They play. They yell and scream and chase dogs. The climb on the outside of our brand new playground and I worry it will break since they are big and my kids are small and we surely don't have an extra $300 lying around to replace it.
I give direction, "Don't do that. It isn't meant to be played on that way." "Yes ma'am!" they say. And I smile. They are grateful for someone to give instruction. Grateful for interaction. That is why they come.
The ball bounces. They come every day. Two teenagers wait until the cool of the day to come and shoot hoops on our goal. They know the rules: Don't dunk, be respectful of others and property, and have fun. Our next door neighbor thinks we're crazy to let them all come play. To feed them and let them run amok with our own children. And we smile, reminded of Who lives in us and Who called us to this.
Our children hold fast to our values. They see the differences in our lives, between the boys' families and ours. The pain in one boy's life who's father isn't around and has no desire to see him. The boy acts out in roughness from that place of pain. And we pray. Dwayne, the kids, and I pray. For salvation. For life. For light in these boys' lives. The Light of Christ. Come Lord.
I fill the pitcher because they are thirsty and the first pitcher I brought out got spilled. So I bring another.
Because they are thirsty.
And this time when I come, I ask them if they will listen to me for a moment.
I ask them if they know why we let them play, and we bring water, and we love on them. They don't. And I tell them about Christ in me, and His love, and His life. And they listen intently. I tell them we pray for them, that they would receive Him, and that they would know that knowing Him is better than anything else in this world. And we smile and I tell them to go play on what God has given.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 35-40
It is a pleasure to serve You, Abba. I pray You are blessed and bear fruit for Your Kingdom here.