"I forgot my book bag"
"How can you forget your book bag!?! This one time - this is your one time. I'll go back and get it but you need to take responsibility and remember or you'll have to face the consequences next time. Consequences are real life. What if Mommy forgot to pay my car payment...... blah. blah. blah. blah. blah. blah"
So we go home. And return towards the school in a direction opposite of usual. Just a couple minutes to spare.
And there he was. Running. Fast walking. Jogging. Fast walking. Obviously late to school. Obviously upset. Book bag and gym bag over his shoulders. Walking.
I feel that Holy Spirit nudge - 'don't pass by'.
But I keep driving, and take the littles on to school. And then come out to go back home a different way, this way he should have walked. And there he is. Maybe 9th grade. Hurriedly walking to school with only about 5 minutes left to make it and a 12 minute walk ahead. So I pull over and offer him a ride. And he was a sweet kid. Good manners. Appreciative. Ran out to his bus only to watch it pulling away.
Not saying all this to toot my own horn. I'm saying all this just because it has eaten and eaten at me since yesterday.
How many passed him by? And why? Were they late? Were they in their pajamas (which I would have been on ANY other morning except this one)? Or were they scared? Of his age, or of his color, or of both?
Others told me, 'you just have to be careful now'.... 'you just never know anymore'....'it's just too risky'.
But how many others have we passed by because we are scared? How many have I passed by????
The foster child; cause they might have too much baggage for us to handle.
The orphan with a now-treatable HIV; cause just imagine how hard that would be for our friends and family.
The sibling set, cause that's just too many kids for us to feed.
The homeless man outside Burger King, begging for money; cause what if he uses the money for booze?
The neighbor with cancer that may just need someone to talk to; cause I don't have time to invest in someone else's problems.
Sponsoring a child in another country; cause what if the organization doesn't use the money like they say they will?
How many? And why?
Although such a small, small deal - getting a kid to school on time. I don't know if he was a child of God.... but God orchestrated every minute for that moment, so I have to think He had his reasons. Those reasons I may never know. The only day I felt like pulling on my clothes early. The only day we would have been coming up the road in that direction because of a forgotten book bag. I don't know why. But I'm glad I didn't pass a good thing by even if it was risky.
Cause dying on a cross was risky. But thank God, HE didn't pass me by.
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