This post is part of a 31 day journey. See the rest of abide: love where you live right here.
All day yesterday I prayed and hemmed and hawed about how to keep writing about belonging. It’s been the hardest to write about for me. If you’re new here, you might not know that my husband works for a residential children’s home. We live next door. For nine years now, our hearts have burned and ached as we’ve walked beside children in this little home. Sometimes we know them for months at a time but a handful have been part of every day and month we’ve been here.
I ache for them to know what it means to really belong. To know that there is One who wants relationship with them so much that He gave His life for them. To know what it means to have a loved one do hard things for them because they are worth it.
The thing about child services right now in this country is that there are very few orphans. Most of the children we see still have some sort of relationship or contact with their parents. I’ve learned to tread lightly there. While there might be varying degrees of attachment, there can be fierce allegiance. I have to check my frustration and anger as some times I watch tender and scrappy hearts be failed by human hands again.
It’s a sour water that runs underneath. We watch as children avoid failure by not showing up. They give up before it gets too hard. We watch as teenaged girls search every interaction with veiled longing in their eyes. Are they worth it? And while it looks like bad decision after bad decision we’ve learned to call it brokenness and to remember that we are all broken. This is what happens when brokenness sows brokenness. And it is why it’s hard for me to write about belonging. It’s awful close to my heart.
Belonging is breaking bread. All of the mixing and kneading and rising and waiting and fire and powder of becoming who we are isn’t really for us. We are called to break that open for others. To invite them to the table and share all of the richness that comes from our process of becoming. We will do the hard things because people matter. We will show our mess because people matter. We will heal and walk through brokenness because people matter. We will share our embarrassing and used-to-be-shame-filled stories of redemption because people matter. People matter to God.
That’s where you live. You live in that place, a place to break open the bread of your life and share it with others.