I love Sunday morning. We are early risers at our house. Even Ty is up before 7:00 AM. Our church meets at 10:30, so Sunday morning is a little “down time” for everyone to be at the house together. This last Sunday, Jennifer and I were catching up over our daily kickstarts, for me, coffee, her a Diet Mt. Dew, when we heard the little footsteps coming down the stairs. As he does every Sunday morning, Ty comes straight to the couch and climbs between us. “Good morning!” We make small talk for a minute and then Jennifer asks, “What do you want for breakfast?” His reply, always, “Pancakes!” He loves pancakes.
The pantry is devoid of Bisquick, so I am off to Kroger. I love that about Sunday. I can run to the store, come back and we can make pancakes together, have breakfast together, clean the kitchen together. Yes, Sundays fill my soul. I am so thankful for moments like these. I am thankful for pancakes.
Unfortunately, it’s not everyone’s reality. Every day we see children that have to get these moments at school instead of at home. The pantry is devoid at home. Devoid of Bisquick. Devoid of moments like these. Devoid of relationships. Devoid of love. It’s the world they live in, and it’s rotten. Empty. Dead. No child deserves to grow up like they do.
And yet, there is a little hope. We get to see it every now and then. Like, when an elementary school age girl gets herself up out of the bed, gets ready for school, and goes out in the freezing cold temperatures to get on the bus at 6:15 AM to come to school. Nobody made her. Nobody cared. Nobody applauded her responsibility. Nobody celebrated her doing the right thing. But she comes in spite of all that.
Maybe it’s two good meals she knows she will get. Maybe, deep down, she knows that the people at school are different. Maybe, she knows that is where she is loved. I don’t know, but she comes to school faithfully, every single day. And, maybe, her attendance speaks more loudly than the 100 on the paper of the child next to her, the one who is “going places.”
It wasn’t long after that little girl was sent to live with her grandmother. Somebody else noticed that her life was lacking in necessary places. But, what’s interesting is this, the very next day I didn’t see her get off the bus. No, I saw her get out of a car. And she smiled. And she said, “Hey, Mr. Walker!” All things that my child takes for granted. Routine for most children. MIlestones for her. I couldn’t help but smile.
I walk over and put my arm around her. “You going to breakfast?” I ask. “No sir.” Strange. “You need to get something to eat before class,” I tell her, already envisioning her teacher calling me as the day proceeds. “I ate already!” She exclaims. “Is that right?” I reply.
Little sister runs behind with the cutest grin on her face, trying to hang on to a backpack as big as she is. She can’t wait to fill me in, “We had pancakes!”
Amen. God, my prayer today is simple...it’s for a whole lot of pancakes.
”Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.'“ Matthew 19:14-15