She slowly climbed into the backseat of my truck with all of her possessions piled beside her in two plastic plaid bags that were zipped up tight. She did her best to appear untouched by her present circumstances, but her fear and sorrow were both equally evident. We did our best to not "let on" that we were feeling just as sorrowful. She and I began a back-and -forth of awkward small talk. As we pulled in to the McDonalds drive-thru, we found a common language! Happy Meals! She began to loosen as she dipped her McNuggets into the sweet and sour sauce. Her chocolate milk shake was fighting her every inch of the way up the red and yellow striped straw.
I hope that I never get used to picking up a child from a juvenile detention facility-a child who has done NOTHING wrong. A child who had nowhere else to go! A child who has been the recipient of extreme abuse and neglect that has left them so traumatized that they are unable to assimilate into a familial structure and therefore need to be placed into a residential living situation. I hope that that never gets "easy". I hope that I always feel the sting of loneliness for them as I trepidatiously converse, doing my best to not make things any more difficult for them than they already are!
I also hope that the healing and daily miracles I get to see don't become common either. I hope that I never take for granted when we hear a "new laughter" in the building from one of our girls who hadn't even had a reason to smile when she arrived, but is now laughing with raw honesty. I hope that I never loose the wonder of watching the stabilizing power of the unconditional love of Christ demonstrated through the medium of human love. Miracles are happening all around us, every day! Choose to see!