Three days ago I was listening to Meir, in my head, reminding me to remember my manners. She didn’t say much more than that, because, frankly, that was a tall enough order. Last week was rough. I’m still not sure if I’m the epitome of strength or insanity. I don’t intend to ask, either. But… it’s a brand new week, and I’m here.
I was being my usual whiny self last week. I readily admit I am one of the most difficult people on the planet to love. I have many titles, and ninety nine percent of them are not favorable. On Tuesday night in CASA training, I came across an entirely new challenge. I’ve been deluding myself. There are far worse people than me out there. Just when I thought I’d seen the worst, the facilitator made the comment that this particular case would cause me to lose my faith in humanity. I nearly laughed, but quickly regaining my composure, I told her, like I’ve told many in the past, “No, Ma’am. I have no faith in humanity. That’s why I’m here.”
Several hours later, well into Wednesday morning, I was still working on that hypothetical case. Something just wasn’t sitting right with me, and I decided one particular statute needed further research. Well, big surprise, that opened up a whole frigging colony of worms! The worms didn’t sit right with me, either. I started backtracking, tracing down sources until I reached what I am certain MUST be the rock bottom of the internet. It was, in fact, the rock bottom of humanity.
The further I read, the more convicted I felt. Here I am: physically healthier than I have been in five years, sitting on my butt, with a computer in my lap, a phone in my hand, and an iPod in my ears, feeling sorry for myself because this world refuses to validate the purity of my heart?? I was completely disgusted. At myself.
The children I found in my research are REAL children. Think about that. I’m not talking about young adults- though I could, it’s another colony all its own- I’m talking about babies. Babies subjected to the most gruesome, sickening, horrific forms of abuse imaginable. I’m talking about children. Not children in third world nations- but children in my own hometown, starved, beaten, chained, and tortured. The worst of it? Those babies, those children, were all victimized by their own parents. I didn’t even bother with the cases involving grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, or sisters. I didn’t have to. I found the horror- horror disguised as love, and I found that the monsters are not hiding under the bed, they are lying on top of it.
Why, now? Why did God reveal these things to me, now? Lemme tell you, it’s a mighty bitter pill to swallow if you’ve been wallowing in your own absurd self pity for months on end. A rather violent path to enlightenment, if you ask me. I spent most of Wednesday in an outright rage. Wednesday night I didn’t sleep. At all. I cried and raged all over my poor notebook. At some point Thursday, it dawned on me…I asked for this. I asked God to give me a path, and I promised to trust Him and walk it. God is fully aware of my trust issues. But He gave me exactly what I asked for, trusting ME to in turn trust HIM. Now I am entrusted with speaking for those children, and advocating in such a way that they will not be victimized ever again.
I will always need to feel that I’m contributing something to the betterment of someone else. I try to only give with a pure heart; it’s only then that I’ve ever been truly happy. Meir set an example to give, out of love, quietly and humbly. It has been a very long six months. I am grateful to have had this time at home, to heal- physically, spiritually, and to a lesser degree emotionally. I am always a work in progress, and as such can only be purified by meeting my challenges head on, and walking straight through the fire with my head up, even if it is only in blind faith.
In twenty four hours my life will resume it’s “normal” course. I’m ready. Depending so heavily on myself armed only with ink and paper (or a keyboard) is just not working for me. I can’t hold up the entire world, even though I will look you square in the eye and tell you I can. I need a little help, sometimes. That’s why I still have my Meir. She’s sitting up there with the King of kings, but she’s still working and she wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m never going to be the kind of faithful woman my Meir was, but I’m working on it. And I’m working on trusting. I reckon I will approach it the only way I know- like a bull in a china shop. New week, new resolve, renewed faith…never in humanity, always in God.
Hug your little people. Not all children are as blessed. Be a blessing, always, Y’all.
~Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
thou wilt revive me:
thou shalt stretch forth thine hand
against the wrath of mine enemies
and thy right hand
SHALL SAVE ME.~
~ Psalm 138:7 ~
~If you have never heard of CASA, or it’s mission, please consider the following links. There are far more children in shelter/foster care in Alabama than caseworkers can handle. CASA volunteers make a huge difference in the lives of otherwise voiceless children.
Ryan Dollinger, National CASA video
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) For Children, National Website
The Value of CASA (video)