151 Band

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Sounds of Sunday

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and yes, there is always work that needs to be done but in the midst of it we can stop and listen - truly listen - to the sounds around us and find something to touch our hearts, and open our minds.

Yesterday, the new girls in the house had a visit from their grandparents and it was pretty surreal at moments - both the actions and behaviors of the girls as well as the environment itself gave me great pause.  The girls behaved remarkably different than they have when it was the six (or eight) of us and I notice little things perhaps others overlook or can be oblivious.  Having been a Hospice counselor "back in the day," I listen closely and intently for insights as to what the emotional dynamic may be and to develop a glide-path for ministering to those in the grieving process.  While grandmother and grandfather were here, the 13 year-old in our care quickly became the "alpha," her body language and her mannerisms indicated a long history of being the one who ran the proverbial show.  For what has been arguably been the first time in her life, this young girl, who lost her mother under some very odd circumstances, has the opportunity to be a young girl - a 13 year-old.

And it seems to be a tough transition for some.

My wife and I have been charged with their care temporarily and it really has been a challenge, but also a blessing.  All the kids have begun to learn what it means to lay down our lives for someone truly in need and in obedience to James 1:27 - to care for the widows and orphans in their time of need.  Not only are they in need of simple loving care, but academically, these girls are clearly behind their peers.  The 13 year-old has been encouraged via homeschooling to be in a grade beyond her abilities and we have had to adjust accordingly.  The 7 year-old is brilliant, but has some speech therapy issues that must be addressed sooner rather than later and we are working toward that goal for the time that they are both in our care.

The death of their mother is a haunting experience, something that is unsettling and mysterious in my spirit.  It is truly difficult to describe, but there is something just "wrong" about the whole thing and the actions thereafter of those involved cause every nerve ending in my body to shiver with what could have happened.  There are moments when the hair stands up on the back of my neck because of it.  Everyone reacts differently to loss, but for this little gray duck (me), were one of my family members to have died under less than conclusive circumstances, I would be screaming for justice from the mountaintops.

But in this case, no one is screaming for answers.  I am not implying anything here - just that this situation is so bizarre to my sense of normalcy, that in comparison, it makes Tim Burton look like Frank Kapra.

In instances like this, it's the sounds and the absence of sounds of life that really matter.  Radar on "high alert," emotions running free, mind functioning with crystal clarity to pick up even a single pin drop that would provide answers...the sounds of another Sunday.  Watching young children in our care interact like young children; it's amazing how much you can pick up through their actions and even their inactivity.  We just have to be receptive.

With each passing day, we're learning more and more - and it becomes increasingly unsettling.