Saturday night, I wept for all the sadness and sweetness juxtaposed in a 20 minute ride to
We passed a house along Back Creek with lots of lights…tacky, gaudy, overdone, I would have thought, though I’ve seen so many like that the last couple of nights, I barely noticed. Germaine admired and announced, “Oh, look at those lights, that’s so beautiful! When I get my house, my daddy better watch out, I’m gonna go to the Dollar store so I can decorate it all up.” I will probably never pass that house now without thinking about Germaine.
She and her sisters live with their father, who loves them dearly, in an apartment in
Whenever I drive them anywhere, their banter in the backseat makes me chuckle inwardly. They are so free and so funny.
“Rita, where’s your purse, you better have it, you got the key; Did you leave that phone charger in Mr. Ed’s car, you better not, no it’s in Rita’s purse, Rita, you find your purse?”
I injected a few comments here and there but mostly I listened. Then I asked the girls to sing. Sing in Lingala. The language of your homeland. The language of your heart. They balked a bit at first and then Germaine started in. Anita joined at just the right spots with beautiful harmonies. It was the sweetest, most beautiful singing I’ve heard in a very long time. When they finished, I asked what the words meant. Germaine told me it was something like, “Jesus gives you everything you need. What are you going to do for Jesus?”
As we pulled into the apartment complex, a man came out of a neighboring door, beer in hand and raced across the parking lot. We looked up toward their window and they oohed and aahed over the beauty of the lights of their little tree, which the Conrads had brought over on Friday afternoon. They were so happy with their tree and all the lights and ornaments. We said our goodnights and they headed upstairs to a dark, empty apartment.
I cried as I drove home. I was crying for the sweetness of their music and the beauty of their hearts. I was crying for the sad things in their past and for the hardships of the present. So many things juxtaposed in that short car ride.
Since Saturday evening, I have thought a lot about the girls and about their song. Yes, Jesus, what am I going to do for you…what am I going to do for these girls? Please, I pray, give me the privilege and along with it the willingness, the consistency, the courage, the patience, the creativity, the discernment, and the energy to love them as you do. Allow me and help me to come alongside the others that have been tirelessly, selflessly, sacrificially caring for these girls for the past few months. And bring some more people to love them and be your hands, feet, arms, mouth, and heart to them.