I sat around all day waiting for the inevitable phone call. I don’t really get days off because there’s always another kid somewhere who needs help. Yesterday it was four siblings who just became orphans but their relocation got held up in court so I missed out on meeting them. Today I was all set to move a five year old after he wore out his welcome but that fell through for reasons I will never know. As the evening began, I was beginning to think I might be able to avoid the inevitable but that’s why they call it that. My good friend John called me and gave me the news, another five year old boy was going to the psychiatric unit after doing something pretty terrible to a sibling. I don’t usually get many specifics and I’m okay with that but I do like to hear about the potential for bad behavior in the car and this kid likes to unbuckle himself and stand up while the car is moving. I managed to keep him busy by talking about dogs and giving him snacks to munch on for the hour we drove together. He did great until we turned into the parking lot of the hospital. Apparently, he had been there before and the memories weren’t good because he pleaded with me, “Take me anywhere but here, please anywhere but here!” We sat in the car and waited for the staff to come outside while I endured the most emotional pleading I have ever heard. Probably the longest ten minutes of my life. The hospital workers were great as always and they carried him in and out of my life. Well, at least physically, but I will never forget his cries and the reality that I delivered him back to a painful place.
I know I’m not to blame for this kid’s trauma but it sure feels like I didn’t do enough. When I hit bottom like that I usually turn to music to help me deal with the darkness of what I do. Sometimes it helps me feel better but tonight it just reminded me that God works in mysterious ways and I don’t always get to know the plan ahead of time. So tonight Cody Jinks explained it to me with this verse…When you give all you can, give some more … Till you spend all your time Till you spend your last dime … Tell me brother, what are you living for? What are you living for?
If you haven’t heard of Cody Jinks you should get to know him. He writes wonderful lyrics and songs like I Cast No Stones and I’m Not the Devil are amazing performances. They may seem a little dark but that’s just because they’re incredibly honest and bittersweet. Kind of like my life right now. What I do is about as brutally honest as it gets and I have to make myself find the good in what I do just to make it seem bittersweet. As I listened to him sing.. But I like to stop… at the end of the day…and I pray that I hurt nobody… and somebody new found their way, it began to sink in that helping people isn’t easy and sometimes all I can do is help them find their own way. At that point I really wanted to go back and tell my young friend that.. I’ll spend forever… do all that I can… to prove I’m not the Devil… you think that I am. Unfortunately, I only get one chance with most of these kids. I have to live with my regrets when it comes to the things I didn’t do or say.
Someone once said, “It’s always darkest before the dawn,” and now I know what they were talking about. We all have to reach a point in our lives where the truth of our existence is undeniable and often uncomfortable before we can begin to grow spiritually. I get to see the most unfiltered version of the truth every day, with every new kid I meet and I have to get better at reaching out to them in ways they can understand, even at five years old. If I’m lucky, I may even be with them at their darkest moment but if I hold on to them long enough we may get to see the sun rise together. I look forward to those moments.
Maybe I should write that song….
©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.