When ROAD CLOSED and Red Lights = GO

Two weeks ago today I hosted a meeting to introduce a new “caring for children and families in stress” resource to my county: Safe Families for Children.

We started a conversation, encouraging the Church to step into its God-given responsibility:

  • love one another
  • care for orphans

It’s not an easy conversation – and there are no easy answers – but there is a right answer. Beyond that, I guess we have to learn to trust.

 

I’ll be a perpetual student…

 

As I drove to the meeting, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this up ahead. Of course. 

Road_closed.JPG

Ever notice how when you’re trying to do what God wants you to, everything tries to slow you down? Oh, you have?

Well, I chose to see those slow-me-downs as confirmation that I was on the right path.

More than two dozen people from various agencies, schools, and churches showed up to hear the presentation by the Safe Families Coordinator for East Tennessee. Naturally, we all have questions about logistics, but there’s little question about the need.

 

Mere hours after our meeting ended, a local family was evicted from their apartment. Five children went into “the system”

because loving parents hadn’t managed to provide a safe place for them to live. If Safe Families for Children already functioned here, we could have avoided that. The children could have been given a temporary place to stay while Mom and Dad find work and a new place to live. They probably could have all stayed together instead of being split into three homes. The host family could have been there to encourage the parents.

 

IF…  Could have…

 

FIVE CHILDREN. One example…

 

Trust me… I know it’s easier to ignore the problem. I’ve done it far too long! I also know it’s easier to think someone else will “step up.”  Have they?

 

As I got back in my car to go home, conversations from the meeting replaying in my mind, Matthew West was singing these words on the radio…

 

If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something

 

I’m so tired of talking
About how we are God’s hands and feet
But it’s easier to say than to be
Live like angels of apathy who tell ourselves
It’s alright, “somebody else will do something”
Well, I don’t know about you
But I’m sick and tired of life with no desire
I don’t want a flame, I want a fire
I wanna be the one who stands up and says,
“I’m gonna do something”

 

If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something

 

We are the salt of the earth
We are a city on a hill (shine shine, shine shine)
But we’re never gonna change the world
By standing still
No we won’t stand still
No we won’t stand still
No we won’t stand still

 

If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something

 

Do you know how the song starts? The verse that played before I started my car?

 

I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you.”

 

If an entire family of children was taken from their home in my community, I’m pretty sure the same thing’s happening in yours. Does anyone notice?

 

It’s time for us to DO SOMETHING.

 

Here in small-town Tennessee, we’re continuing the conversation. Will people care enough to open their homes to provide respite for stressed families – children? Will church leadership look beyond their own “programs” and practice biblical hospitality? I don’t know.

 

I’m praying the answer to both is a resounding YES.

 

What about you? Why not check out Safe Families for Children – and DO SOMETHING. I’ll be right here to encourage you!

Comments

  1. Keep on keeping on. The stats are staggering, but each one can reach one. Each one can AND WILL make a difference!

    Hugs,
    Kelley~

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