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Bonnie Gray Christian Blog and Commentary

For The Special Little Girls And Boys {Remember}

  • Bonnie Gray

    Bonnie Gray is author of Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul To Rest, garnering starred review praise from Publisher's Weekly, named as one of PW's top 6 notable new religion authors. Bonnie is a featured contributor at (in)courage and her writing is nationally syndicated, spotlighted by Relevant Magazine, Catalyst Leadership, Today's Christian Woman, and Christianity Today. A UCLA graduate, Bonnie has been a missionary, ministry entrepreneur and Silicon Valley high-tech professional. Bonnie serves up shots of faith for the daily grind on her blog Faith Barista.com. Bonnie lives in Northern California with her husband Eric and their two sons.

  • 2014 Apr 01
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{In the heart of every person lies the quiet bloom of a little child.}

She looked so cute. As a button.

She sparkled dancing brown eyes that smiled, a dimple on her left cheek, as wispy strands of soft chestnut hair pulled up in ponytail fringed her sweet face.

"She's five," my friend Amy* whispered back when I asked her silently with my mouth how old this little girl was.

"You're soooo cute! 'You know that?" I turned back to say to the little girl playfully, stooping down to crinkle my nose and let out a giggle to match hers. 

She's bashful, but not shy. 

I knew that behind her sunshine smile, laid a story I did not need to hear, in order to know it would be hard.

Special

My friend Amy is a foster parent. And this little girl with slender wrists and pint-sized legs was a new house guest I hadn't met before.

"What your name?" I asked.

She twisted and turned and told me quietly.

"Oh... what a beautiful name..." I cooed.

"I love your cardigan. Pink looks pretty on you... and look at your shoes.  Mary Jane's in pink glitter!" I ask her if pink's her favorite color. She nods.  Pink and turquoise are tied as my two favorites, I tell her in return.

"We went shopping yesterday...  And she picked out her own clothes... " Amy chimes in, standing nearby.

"Well, you did a great job!  You look beautiful." And as she beamed with pride,  I asked her if I could give her a hug.

As I wrapped my arms around her, I didn't know if I'd get to see her next time.  Because you never know how long a child stays or passes through.  

So, I looked deep into her eyes until I felt her soul look into mine.

And then, I told her as tenderly as I could. 

Jesus loves you very much, sweetheart.

You are a very special little girl.  Don't you ever forget that.

You are special.

And she smiled.

Maybe

I couldn't stop thinking of Special Little Girl when I went home.

I cried because she was so young. I cried because it broke my heart imagining her all by herself in this big wide world.  Without a home.  Without someone to turn to.  Who would call her their very cherished own.

I cried because there is a part of me who is learning to come home too.

I cried because in the same breath, I know there will always be a piece of me that will never quite be home. Because we're all just passing through in this pilgrimage of faith.

Maybe that is why Jesus had to share one last meal with his friends before he had to die.

Maybe when Jesus looked into the eyes of everyone he had been living, traveling, sleeping alongside and eating with -- and celebrating three birthdays alongside -- he saw the little boys and girls hidden within each of them.

He knew they would feel scared, lonely and abandoned -- when they would wake up one morning and find Him gone. When they would walk into the bedroom where Jesus usually slept and see the bed lay bare, too neatly folded and empty.

Remember

Jesus probably felt so troubled and yet, the best way He could think of to spend the last night together was to wash their feet, break some bread, and lift up a cup.

To put their sandals back on for them and then rest at a table together. To share a meal. And make an oath.

He made a new promise they had never, ever heard anyone make to them.

They would be reunited one day.

It was a blood promise.  And He would give up his own body to be battered and bruised -- to be thrown to the side and lashed open -- in order to keep his promise.

Remember me.

Jesus whispered.

Whenever you eat this bread… of brokenness...

Whenever you drink from this cup… of life pouring out...

Remember me.

A Thousand Pieces

Next time I saw Amy, I asked her.  "How is Special Little Girl?"

"Oh, Bonnie…" my friend sadly confided. "Her mother came for her visit… and it was just awful."

"What happened?" I was afraid to ask.

"You know what she did?"  Amy asked, anger tinging her words.

"What?" I couldn't imagine.

"She took one look at Special Little Girl… looked her up and down… and the first things she said to her was -- 'You look stupid.'"

And my heart broke into a thousand pieces right then in there for Special Little Girl.

I find out that Special Little Girl will soon have no family to belong to.  She is going to be "terminated" from her family. The courts had taken her away from her mother, only to have her father beat her. Then she was passed to her aunt and uncles -- and then to her grandparents.  They all beat her. When she arrived at my friend Amy's house, her legs held shadows of lashes across them.

Where are you, God?

How can you let this happen?

It's too evil and too wrong for you to allow this to happen.

How can you stand it?!

When I told my husband Eric, his heart broke into a thousand pieces too. And together we prayed for Special Little Girl.

Please Lord Jesus, take care of her.  Find her a new home.

Send loving people to adopt her. Protect her in the secret place inside until that day.

I Promise

As I wrestled with feelings of anger and sadness, my heart kept returning to a room lit by the quiet flames one dark night. Where Jesus was hiding secretly away with the disciples, as He said his last words --

Remember me.

I promise.

I am coming back for you.

I'm not going to leave you orphans.

You belong to me.

I promise.

And I see the lashings on his back, his legs, and even his face. How people who should have loved him put a robe on his back and spit on him and said he looked stupid.

How His heart broke in a thousand pieces.

And I try very hard to remember. The truth.

Jesus remembers. You. And Me.

Jesus remembers Special Little Girl.

Sooner than later, I pray.

Help Special Little Girl find a home. 

Sooner than later, Jesus.

The Next Time

The next time I take the cup and swallow the wine.

The next time I place the bread on my tongue, I am going to remember Jesus. And Special Little Girl. And long for His promise to come true.

Sooner than later. For all of us.

For in the heart of every man or woman lies the quiet bloom of a little boy or girl.

We are all on the journey -- in different ways -- to find our hearts' true homes.

Loved and cherished in the heart of Jesus.

Special little boys.

Special litle girls.

"I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.

They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit." 

~ Psalm 34:4-7, 18

"He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds…

He sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground."
~ Psalm 147

~~~~~

Is there a promise you're holding onto… to come true for you?

Pull up a chair.  Share a comment below.

This is a quiet place for you and me.

~~~~~  

{If you know a friend who is doing the hard soul work of foster parenting} Send them an email, give them a hug, or gift them with a Starbuck's card to bring them a smile. Let them know the heart and homes they're opening up to the little boys and girls makes a real difference.

Having processed memories from my past, I know the power of even a stranger's beautiful words spoken to me.  Random gestures from others are remembered -- forging beautiful, deep and lasting signatures of Jesus' voice, hands and heart into my memories.  

Those memories can even be unspoken, but they were all felt. They have made my story beautiful and loved, standing out more powerfully among the broken pieces.

{So, the next time you see a child} smile, say hello, and let the love in your heart touch them through that simple gesture.

{And for all of you who parent little ones and work with children} be encouraged to know how very significant you are. You hold a very special place in a child's heart. Jesus is touching that child through you.

~~~~~

New 4-Week Series:  {The Journey}

For the four weeks leading up to Easter, I'm selecting soulful prompts to reflect movements in Lent.  Lent means "The Way of the Cross".  In other words, Lent is "The Journey". I hope this quiet space here in this blog post provides a moment for you -- as we explore these Journey-Inspired prompts together. Let's do this. You and me. Us and together. Let's swap some stories.

{ Today’s post is part of Bonnie Gray's {The Journey} series. Click here for read the entire series. }

Written by Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista, author of Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul To Rest. (Revell Books. Pre-order today. Release date: June 3, 2014.)   

Finding Spiritual Whitespace guides readers on a journey to create space in life to slow down, feed their souls, draw closer to God and enjoy rest.  Through heart-breaking honesty and practical insight, Bonnie chronicles her unexpected journey through anxiety and painful memories, to discover a better story for her life, one that makes room for God, for beauty and rest, right in the midst of our stress-frayed everyday lives. 

Bonnie Gray is the soulful writer behind FaithBarista.com serving up shots of faith for the daily grind.  She is a contributor at DaySpring (in)courage and her writing has been spotighted by Christianity Today and nationally syndicated through McClatchy-Tribune News Services. After graduating from UCLA, Bonnie served as a missionary, ministry entrepreneur, and Silicon Valley high-tech professional. She lives in Northern California with her husband, Eric, and their two sons.

** Don't miss! ** If you are new to Faith Barista, I'd like welcome you here.Click to subscribe by email and get each post in this series served up hot and fresh directly in your mailbox.

(*) Amy is not her real name. Amy is the name I gave my friend in today's blog post to protect her privacy and the Special Little Girl.