Last Sunday at church we heard a great sermon from Justin Duckworth. In a series on the Lords prayer - "your will be done on earth as in heaven" -he was talking about looking for God's kingdom when its already here under our noses. He told a story of being a tourist looking at a church in Paris, seeing a little girl begging outside and realising that the little girl was where Jesus was. He also told of a birthday party he'd attended after befriending a rather unlikable adolescent boy, it was only the boy, his foster parents and Justin at the party, but no, not just them said Justin, Jesus was there.
Our experience yesterday was like this. A ten year old boy from Noah's school came to play with Noah (a fair estimation of the time they actually played together would be 30 seconds!)
He is truly the most challenging child I've looked after and I have now a whole new appreciation of ADHD and encopresis (and admire still more the writer of the blog This work stinks) But he was so brave, trying to hold it all together, not hitting back when Isaac took his toy train and scratched him - even taking himself to our white box to try to control his anger. One of the first things I did when we got in the house was talk to him about the words on our wall which say 'safe' and 'calm' (apart from the times Hannah's friends make anagrams of them and see how long it takes me to notice!) and ask him where would be a good place to go if he needed to feel calm. He himself suggested sitting on the box in our playroom and it was amazing to see him turn away from throwing the wooden trainset, sit on the box and bite hard into Isaac's toy dog - OK the last bit wasn't part of the plan but seemed a pretty good substitute to biting Isaac to me.
After three hours with him I felt as though I had run a marathon - I mean physically exhausted -I've never actually run a marathon. When we took him home I told his mum how hard he had tried and how we had always got to the toilet in time. I asked if he was used to going out to play and she said this was the first time he'd ever been away from home. How sad is that?- a ten year old never going to play or going to a birthday party.
And then I thought Jesus was here and what a humbling thing that we were here too to experience it.
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