On Wednesday as I was leaving my house I noticed a little boy in the yard across the street. Right when he saw me he began to shout, “Hey, what are you doing?” and soon was running across the street to talk to me. Of course I was horrified and told him not to run in the street and then asked where he lived (the yard he was in belonged to a sweet older lady). He pointed to house across another intersection. As I took him home I asked his name and found out that he was three years old… When we got to the house I asked him to go get his mom. At first he refused, but then I said I could ring the doorbell. He was thrilled and was soon pushing the button. The mom answered the door in a daze and was startled to see her son (and dog, a part of the story I did not even get into) standing with me…
This event followed a weekend pool party. Meg got into a conversation with another mom, who also had a little baby. The other mom asked Meg how much Phoebe weighed and then mentioned her little girl was just a pound less. But then she said, of course she is eight months old… (Phoebe is only 3 and a half).
Later someone mentioned “failure to thrive”, which I had not heard. S I went to look the term up and it can be caused by a number of reasons, but one haunted me:
“Psychosocial problems, often stemming from a lack of nurturing parent-child relations can lead to a failure to thrive. The child may exhibit poor appetite due to depression from insufficient attention from parents.” (Click here)
I believe that God is calling out for someone to stand in the gap on behalf of these children. And not just these children, but so many we encounter, so many who sit in the seat next to you at school. Or for that matter adults who you work with. People who have been rejected by the world. Who have been told they are worthless. Whose lives no longer thrive… because they are not loved.
God is calling for us to become the one who loves them. Who risks to ridiculed alongside them. Who will speak words of grace, words of kindness, and take action to redeem them. To allow them to see that they are in reality a child of God. A person with a purpose and destiny.
But the verse in Ezekiel is troubling. After outlining the rejected and abused poor, widows, and foreigner, the prophet writes as God, “I looked for one who would build up the wall and stand in the gap… but I found no one.”
The message is the same today… will we call out, “here am I, send me.” or will be join the throng proceeding to the new American dream.