I do, sometimes.
What I have to offer, what I actually do in the course of my day sometimes seems minuscule. I am human, and sometimes I feel small and rather weak. Stargazing from my balcony last night, whispering my requests to God, the sense of my own helplessness startled me. That's what it is to be human, isn't it? We're pretty resilient. We can do things. We play a big role; I mean, God doesn't do much without us. And yet... we're so fragile. We all have hopes we whisper to the stars; situations beyond our control, things we'd change if we could... but we can't. Physically, emotionally, we get hurt and come face-to-face with our vulnerability. We're pretty limited.
It's the realization of what needs to be changed in this world, the many neighborhoods and people who desperately need the light of hope, that has compelled me to approach my life in the way I have. Whether or not they remember my name, I want people to have been better loved because I lived. I guess it's easy for me to start viewing myself as a heroine in the epic story of the ages.
And then I meet people like her.
Of the 14 of my girls, she seemed to "have it together" the most. Rarely had an incident, never needed redirection. Stayed out of escalating situations. Pictures of her one-year-old cherub were plastered all over her bedroom wall, and she seemed responsible and mature enough, despite her sixteen years, to be a good mommy upon her release from custody.
I have to admit, I overlooked her. With thirteen other girls, some of whom have rather unavoidable ways of asking for the attention and love they need, it kinda happened without my realization.
She went home for a court hearing a few weeks ago. While she was home, she ran. If she's caught, she'll go to a placement much less desirable than where I work. And so she's sixteen. On the streets with her baby.
As I reviewed her database, putting all her legal work in order before it goes into the black hole of permanent records, I took the time to read her court order, detailing the events leading to her placement.
All her life, she was raped on a regular basis by her uncle. Her family says her little girl is the result of one of those horrific instances, but she insists she had a boyfriend who's in the army... that's why no one knows about him. Eventually, she ran away from home. When she was found and taken into custody, the STD's her uncle had given her had gone untreated to the point where she couldn't even walk.
As her story unfolded in the computer-generated staccato of a legal document that could not even begin to capture the fear, the betrayal, the helplessness, and the pain, I cried. In front of my co-worker, I cried over a court order.
Did I do anything to bring her hope? Did she know, from her interactions with me, that she is precious, priceless, and passionately loved by the God who know what it is to suffer horribly?
I'm not the heroine I'd like to imagine. My efforts sometimes look like five dinner rolls and two small trout, a paltry snack in the hungry eyes of five thousand people. You know what comforts me? I know a Man who loves to take small gifts and use them in ways that bring glory to Himself, so that all the people know that He cares about their hunger.
This story is bigger than mine, and He's writing into it His mercy. His love. I'll keep playing my little part. I'll most definitely try to see beyond the obvious, try to remember to take time for even those who seem to not need much from me, but I can trust Him to keep writing the story when I'm blind... when I'm human.