Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I broke down tonight. I really needed to. It was SO good to cry and pray from a place that gets overlooked too often in the bustle of life...especially life in a big city. There's just a faster pace, with so many more people...it takes longer to get almost everywhere-even though you can take an expressway to get there. My job is a new kind of stress these days and it hit me tonight what it is. I have had this immense headache for two days...just pressure. I think it must have been those tears scratching their way out. It's almost like I don't let myself slow down as much here.
We are in two different small groups right now (WHICH I LOVE, FYI.) and last night with one we got on the subject of our flesh being weak and our Spirit being strong...well, God's Spirit in us. It was very good stuff. :) Then, tonight I read chapter one of Sex God by Rob Bell...I recommend it so far. I only read the intro, chapter one and part of chapter 2. Then I just had to pray.
I've been like I said, SO stressed at work. I couldn't figure it out because it doesn't seem like there is really so much that I'm not managing well, but I just am slacking on this one case that I really need to get transferred by the end of the week. Tonight, after reading reminders of the humanity in humans and the God that loves them right where they are...it took my breath away. My "Stress" comes from the fact that transferring this case means that I'm not going to be the one "taking care of" 4 of my favorite kids. I'm not going to be the one to wipe off their little faces when Mom and Dad don't at their visit. I'm not going to be the one changing a diaper or telling Mom to just to make sure that it gets done before the 40 minute car ride they have to get "home". Above that though...it hit me that I am going to be part of "the ones" who strip these parents of their parental rights. In the not so distant future I am going to have to sit on a witness stand and testify that in the last year and a half, I have not seen anything from these parents (Parents who for many reasons bring vomit to my mouth...still touch that place in me that sees a MOTHER and a FATHER though gripped by their addictions LOVE their children...) I am going to sit and look them in the face and speak words against their ability to effectively parent. This is not something that hasn't happened...confrontation is sometimes an effective motivator. REALITY sometimes, just sometimes snaps people into the realization that if they don't work, they will loose their treasure. These parents don't and haven't worked on their plan. They get extra time... a second chance that most in their situation do not get...and they didn't take it. AND, yet I see the love when they pat a child on the head or hug them...
I go back to that place when I was little and didn't understand addiction. I go back there and I feel with these children who are about to loose their Mommy to something they don't understand. I go there and I feel with them the pain of being left behind. Being second to a substance that controls them and not understanding why I'm not more important. I go there and from that place, I hurt for them and with them. And, yet at the same time, I sand here with a world whizzing by me as if on a TV commercial where I am stopped and all else continues to move almost in fast forward... I stand here and understand the depth and grip of addiction and also the importance to innocence and the right to childhood that they will receive in the home that will raise them. I pray that someday they will understand their worth and their importance and that they are deeply loved. That they are even deeply loved by the parents who seem to be choosing them second right now. I pray that they understand without their own experiences the life sucking, dark place addiction has brought their parents to that has nothing to do with their love or any lack of love. But, a place that has so gripped them that they can not find a way out. I pray that someday these parents will experience the freedom of forgiveness and the weightlessness of grace.
I get why I am slacking. I get why I don't want to tie up the loose ends. I don't want to throw them away. I don't want them to be a number (a number that I have memorized from such frequent use)...I don't want to put that last paper in and stick their file into a bin that will eventually get shipped off with other numbers to another building...and ultimately rest in a room full of "closed records." I don't want to be part of what tears the tapestry of this tattered family. I don't want it. I don't want to end the weekly visit that is often chaos and so doesn't seem loving in many ways. I don't want to do it because I know how much those two older kids get it. I know how much they crave that one hour no matter how inconsistent...that one hour with their Mom and Dad. One, jaded and lovely hour.
I say all of this knowing that I do want for them the full tummies they have when they are tucked into warm beds saying their prayers with parents that love them. I say it knowing that I do want for them bright, hopeful futures out of a poverty mindset and expectant of LIFE. I say it knowing that I do trust for them to be loved and cared for and deeply woven into a new family...not just a patch on another family's quilt...but woven into their very existence. I know all of this and all of these beautiful new beginnings, and at the same time I morn for the parts of them that may never fully come to grieve all that will be lost. The piece of each life that will be cut from other lives, the chunks that will be torn one from another. The sad eyes and the tight hugs...just one last time. I know they will be "better off" and safe and loved. I KNOW. I trust and I LOVE the place they are going. The younger ones will always know it as home. I pray the older ones will come to trust it as home and feel all the warmth that "Home" should bring.