Reality Check

"F*** you, ho."

Those are pretty harsh words.

Imagine someone screaming them in your face.

You'd probably be angry, offended, maybe even tempted to yell back.

Now, imagine that someone yelling is a seven-year-old.

Changes things, right? It did for me.

A little boy yelled those words at me today just before saying, "I'm gunna have my dad shoot you," and just after kicking me... a lot.

I don't want it to sound like I'm complaining. I'm not. Watching a child act that way leaves no room for anger--only a weird kind of shock that gives way to sadness. Seeing the intense hatred and hurt flow out of him was a reality check for me.

Working in ministry, it's easy to get caught up in the idea that these kids need more programs, more activities, more stuff. But the truth is that none of those things can change lives. Only through the power of Jesus and His love expressed through individuals can hardened hearts like those of the little boy be softened and changed. So, here's to my getting back to basics in my mind.

I don't know the little boy's name, but pray for him with me that his life would be marked by love not hate, joy rather than hurt, and triumph instead of tragedy.


  1. Sounds as though a bit of discipline might not be amiss.

  2. Suzanna, although I know you are in the arms of our Lord, my "Plan B" is to pray daily for your safety.

  3. I've spent quite a few years in ghettos, on two continents no less. Even after all this time it can still surprise me how deeply the darkness can scar some hearts. How grateful I am that I have the light of Christ to lift me up. As you say, sister, there is nothing but God that can heal those wounds. It has been my privilege to reflect that light, sometimes as an official missionary, and others just as a Christian following the example of the One who loves us most. Keep shining that light, sister. God bless you.