I got home from my morning run* yesterday to find my three porch swing kids sitting in the porch swing. It was before 10am and there they were, swinging all alone, just waiting for us to get home. I was dripping in sweat and my face was beet red and I sincerely just wanted a shower. How in the world was I going to be able to get a shower when these kids just wanted to play?
“We been waiting on you for a long time. Can you let them kids play?, she asked. Before I could respond, my clan circled the swing, eager to play.
What’s a mama to do?
I relented and put off my much needed shower and sat down on the coveted porch swing. “Sure”, I replied.
I sat there for a good long while with a hundred questions running through my mind, but one question weighed heavier than the others.
How can I possibly meet the needs of these kids when my own kids suck me dry? Their needs are long and deep and wide and I am stretched thin and I feel shallow. There just isn’t enough of me or my resources to fix all of this brokeness.
What can one mama do?
I can’t look at their dirty feet and hands and hair and not feel the desire to give them a bath. I can’t look at their mismatched and out of season clothing and not pull things out of my own kids’ closets. I can’t help but fix extra corn dogs at lunch when they sit on my porch at lunchtime and hear me call my own kids in for their mid-day meal.
I can put a bandaid on these scratches, but I can’t fix the gaping wounds that form words and come from their little mouths.
A few months ago, I read She Did What She Could, by Elisa Morgan. It was an easy read and I read it in an evening. I put it on the shelf and thought to myself, “I’ve got this. Easy. I’ll do what I can.”
It was really easy until doing what I can became personal. When doing what I can to serve others showed up in real faces and real smiles, it got uneasy. It got really hard.
Doing what I can just isn’t enough, but what if it’s all I’ve got? What if corn dogs and popsicles and new underwear are enough…to these little children, right now?
“What if? …She did what she could. What if I did what I could? And you did what you could? So that we did what we could? Not necessarily in the Congo or in Serbia, but right here, right now, wherever God had planted each of us-all of us?” Elisa Morgan, She Did What She Could
What if? Just a thought…
*(I only run 3 days a week…and run is a stretch. It is more like a slow jog that makes me sweat. That’s more honest. I like honest.)