One of our resident boys went on a hunger strike yesterday, over something to do with floor-mopping. Another one of them was caught cheating on a test and then cussing at the teacher. Another proceeded to entertain us with tales of his “hood rat days” (his words), and precisely how he managed to steal 48 beers in under a minute without detection, then hotwire a car to bring home his newfound merchandise. At 2 a.m., the bedroom window alarm screamed me into awakeness, alerting me that someone was trying to sneak out of the house.
It’s easy to get discouraged, on days like these.
This is our eighth month here, and every day gets easier, and every day gets harder. Easier because we learn, indeed, there is nothing new under the sun, and harder because our hearts are growing solidly to these young ones, and it hurts every time their choices reflect the life that was so normal to them before they came here. Most days, we’re just trying to redefine normal.
And more than most things, I am grateful, in this ministry, for laughter and the power it has. I’m grateful that an exhausting night of prayer and worry can be solidified with smiles when a twelve-year-old shows me where in the garden he planted “refried beans”, and a bunch of marshmallow-stuffed mouths burble their scripture-memory verses for the week, chubby-bunny style. When a hot-sauce-eating competition breaks out at the dinner table and the boys cheer each other on and Husband cracks a joke that makes milk escape several noses all at once. This is my hysterical life (in more ways than one)… with boys and other child-type people.
I’m grateful for a God who doesn’t take things too seriously and who seems to send, at the very moment I need it, a light-hearted moment or a friend with an inside joke to turn up the corners of my mouth and recharge my will to do it for just one more day.
What made you laugh, today?