roadside flowers

Ringing in the 4th today looked like doctor visits and cough drops.

We celebrated lots this week; in a rainbow of ways. It started off with a staff birthday and frozen cake. Watching as little bodies ate big pieces and sang an off-key song.

I live next to a house of five kiddos, the three oldest are girls, 4-5 years old who have become my little shadows, helping with the simple things, like cooking dinner or hanging laundry on the line outside.

Their little hearts are reminders of wildflowers; how beautiful and resilient they are. It’s precious to watch them bloom forth. As shoes were put on and we set out for a walk around the neighborhood, I sensed God smiling down, admiring the beauty of His children, picking flowers and learning about aloe plants. I think pride flushed His dusky cheeks and turned them a vibrant pink as my little ones braved the barking dogs and kept walking forward. The thought came to mind… How much of the time do we spend worrying about what’s ahead; fearful of what could come, without ever taking a step? How much of the time do I do that? These little ones have walked through unthinkable pasts. Have had their hearts broken or beaten by those meant to hold trusting roles in their lives, yet joy radiates through their bones as another purple flower is found among the thicket.

I’ve started to walk everyday around the block – soaking in the sweetness of a podcast, listening to worship music when my heart has nothing else to share or sometimes simply admiring the clouds rolling in or the birds singing their hymns. These walks have been a remedy to the infecting sin that seems to be a constant.

Later on in the week, we received four new children, three siblings and a little 3 year old with burns covering her body. As the sun beat down and the children climbed out of the cars, all my heart could say was, “Hold them Jesus. Protect them and keep them safe.” Little did I know, that would become my anthem for the days ahead. Taking the older two of the siblings to the clinic and seeing how malnourished and under-developed they were, my heart broke and I found myself whispering the prayer again, “Hold them Jesus. Protect them and keep them safe.” At times, it has been a challenge to have compassion for the parents/guardians involved in these kiddos lives. How could they be so neglected? How could such depravity happen to a child this young? Why does it even exist in the world?

As these thoughts have circled the drain of my mind, I have found myself going back to the Cross. Thanking Jesus that no matter how bad the sinful infection is, the amount of trauma or abuse that has taken place, He has already walked through it. He has overcome it. And He prays to His Heavenly Father for all these little humans’ lives.

As the week progressed, one little 18 month old baby got sick with a dangerously high fever. The night was spent rotating cold washcloths on her neck and forehead, praying fervently, “Hold her Jesus. Protect her and keep her safe,” as I rocked her back to sleep every few minutes. She has since made a full recovery to what was thankfully only a 24-hour bug.

I am still recovering – seeing the doctor today after waking up with swollen lymph nodes and a nearly gone voice. This week’s recap is being typed in bed with cough drops and hot ginger-lemon tea in hand. My heart is full with new friends and furry pups, painted pottery and farmer’s markets after church. The prayer continues to resound in my head as our sweet little 3 year old went to the wound clinic today; where her burns were re-dressed for her to start properly healing. These days are long and full – where the tears seem to become ever constant – yet the evidence of God’s faithfulness is seen all the more.

Celebrating the moments of picked flowers and wounds being tended. For hearts that are healing and for such beautiful skies – a reminder of His handiwork, beyond my own imagination.

Prayer requests:

  • For healing over my body from this sickness
  • For my heart to forgive and have compassion towards the parents/guardians of these children
  • For my boss to feel all the more poured into as the demands of this job continue to build up
  • For clarity of mind over the judges and social workers involved in each case

-Kyra Mariah

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