Tuesday, May 5, 2015

What to Do?

Written by Jennifer Clarke

Sometimes God stops our progress. We’re doing what He has called us to do, and then…

…the “cloud by day” just…stops.

So we set up camp and wait. We wait for the cloud to move again. But before it moves, it becomes the pillar of fire as night falls. So we keep waiting through many clouds becoming pillars becoming clouds again. And that wait is often agonizing and heart-wrenching and nerve-frazzling.

But brace yourself. Don’t get too comfortable in the waiting. Because when that cloud does move again, it just might be a whirlwind that sweeps you up and throws you around and takes you on the roller coaster ride of your life.

We have waited fourteen months to fill the empty beds in our home with precious little people.

Yesterday, the beds were empty.

Today…they’re full.

And we’re thankful. So honored and blessed beyond comprehension to be entrusted with their care by our Father.

But we’re also heartbroken.

We’re devastated for two parents across town who will go to bed tonight with three empty beds in their home.

And we’re shattered for three little boys who find shelter tonight in our wonderful home…

…but strange to them.

Our loving home…

…but unfamiliar to them.

Our Christ-centered, God-worshipping home…

…but foreign to them.

What memories are they reliving? What familiar faces are they missing? What sorrows do they carry? What scars do they bear? How does it feel to go to sleep in a stranger’s house and not know where your parents are or when you’ll see them again…when you’re just a little boy?

There are so many aspects of their situation that we cannot fix. And that hurts. A lot. Because part of us wants to erase the past and the wounds and the traumas these boys have faced, and fix their parents so they are able to take care of their sons again. So their family can be whole again.

But we can’t. There’s no erasing. No undoing. No fixing that we can do for this family. It is utterly beyond our power. It’s a helpless sort of feeling.

We also can’t do anything for the other hundreds of thousands of children like them in this country who are without a home…without a place to lay their heads. Who have been abused. Who have been neglected. Who don’t have a family. Who don’t have the slightest concept of so many things we take for granted – shelter, security, care, nurture, belonging.

It’s an overwhelmingly huge problem. Much too big for our feeble minds to comprehend, much less repair. It’s enough to make us want to close our eyes and plug our ears and act like they don’t exist. Because I’m pretty sure that would be easier.

Easier than this helpless feeling.


He is able to make all grace abound toward us.

And He will.

He is able to restore what is broken.

And He will.

And yes, He is even able to resurrect that which is dead, reinfusing life and hope where life and hope are long gone.

And He will.

So what do we do in the face of so great a problem? What do we DO when there’s nothing we can DO?

One couple…one family. Amidst such a sea of hurt and need and brokenness? Is there a difference to be made? 


Undoubtedly. Unequivocally. Most assuredly.

We can pray. So we do.

And then we do what we can to make a little bit of difference where we can

…starting with the three little boys sleeping upstairs.

Jennifer Clarke is a foster mom and author of the blog A Divine Encounter and also moderates the Grace & Truth weekly link-up. Please visit her blog and encourage her. Also follow her blog on Facebook.

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