Be Careful Little Eyes What You See
by Kara Curfman, Foster and Adoptive mom and Post Adopt Case Manager
Looking into the sweet little face of "Landon" (named changed) I see the gentle face of Jesus and yet like a fast flickering video I also see the face of pain while Jesus held the weight of the world on his shoulders as he died for us. I can't see one without the other. This is painful! One cannot EXIST without the other. His little almost 4 year old mind is not innocent. He has seen too much that he was not meant to see. He has lived horror that most of us only read about in scary novels or watch on movies we shouldn't submit ourselves to. Landon loves with reckless abandon and yet his mind is still trying to process what he's seen and with that same passion, he strikes out with anger against an unknown foe. One cannot happen without the other. There can't be joy without pain, not in this case. Landon's smile is infectious, his hug could heal a broken heart and yet he is broken. His mind is in motion beyond his years. One moment he is an innocent 3 year old and the next he is fighting to process drug abuse, guns, threats, abandonment, being on the run, broken promises and life on the edge of spinning out of control. He was not created for this. He was not meant to see what he has seen or hear what he has heard.
...Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings,
...be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near...
(Casting Crowns.... Slow Fade...
using the words from a Children's bible song and adding some to them).
This pulls me back into the movie The Odd Life of Timothy Green. He was only meant to be there for a time, but meant to leave a permanent mark on the lives he touched. They cannot remain the same once he is gone. That is what foster care does to you. You prepare for them, you feed them, you love them, they become a part of your family and a part of you, and you think things are NORMAL....and then in a moment, a mere phone call, they are gone. You are expected to move on and prepare for another placement, and you do, but you are NEVER the same. Time marches on and you are somehow in your mind, stuck in a moment that has passed.
Nothing is normal ever again.
It's subtle, but it's there. You can't explain it. You can't cry it out. You can't let go.... not.... really. It hangs around like a mist that never lifts. It whispers to you and normal is a thing of the past. You see things differently and yet you know that other people don't see what you see and you can't explain it either. You want to scream and yet you know you would be alone. Not that no one cares, but that time marches on and doesn't wait for your scream. You are trapped in a bubble of sorts. Most of this changes you for the better if you flow this way with the mist. If not, then you are trapped in the pain.
You MUST leave the cross.....Jesus wants you to see the cross, but he wants you to move past it to the VICTORY of the empty tomb. Where you are determines how you live. You must keep moving. (In the words of Dory...."Just keep swimming, just keep swimming"). You know we are only here for a little while and you really start to grasp that we are not made for this life, but you must live it and live it well. The cross and the EMPTY tomb beg that of you.
I still hear the laughter and cries of the children we have had. I hold them in my mind and I hold ME in my mind when they were with us. I am not the same. I can no longer view things the same any more. We go through life and seldom realize how dramatically events have the potential to alter us. Some have little impact and then some....change. us. forever. The earth tilts and the colors change, and life....is...different. Forever.
We're both better and worse all in one package. We have missing parts of our hearts and damaged parts of our hearts and yet when Jesus puts us back together we are whole again in a mixed up sort of way. A damaged way and yet it's better....and worse. We are stronger and more resilient and sometimes also more fragile. A contradiction really....actually. And yet we see the world for what it is with our new views....our new views that can't be explained. The rose colored glasses are off
and yet there is beauty in a radical sort of way. Not a pure way, but in a "back of the tapestry" kind of way. Where the threads are all tangled and knotted until you see the front. This is not our home and it becomes very clear each time a child comes and a child leaves. Moments are more precious and yet some moments we want to run from because they show us how real and how horrible the world can be. How did we get here....this world....so far from Eden?
Landon is not even MY foster child and yet his life with my friend's family will forever be etched there. He will only be with us all for a little while. I'm not sure why I say this. His future has not been stated by the courts, but somehow I know this. His life and his struggles and his victories will be with us forever regardless of where he is. Some memories change you and you can never be the same. Some people see him as a little boy with lots of potential. Don't we always say that? Have you ever heard someone say, "if only he had something to work with"? I agree with his potential for the future and yet I see the pain and scars that he will carry too.
I am not leaving God out of the equation. I am not a "glass is half empty" kind of gal, but I have seen these kids. The scars will not go away. Jesus still has scars from the cross. These children can heal, but they are scarred. I see his history in his eyes and yet I am not sure how, really. He is NOT even in my home and yet his soul cries out to me. He has touched more than just me. His brief time brings the face of Jesus even closer and yet the agony of the cross and what it means closer still. One cannot be without the other. I never quite saw it this way. This makes victories so much sweeter. Rising above our scars. Without the cross, can you rise above the past? Absolutely, but what would be the point, really. It is a much greater victory to understand how far you can go with Jesus as a central focus.
Oh, I GOT it, but not on this level. The pain, the anguish, the agony, the betrayal, the brutality still brings the gentleness and love and grace. Those gentle hands have seen brutality beyond what we can understand. That is why...I cannot ever go back and be innocent. I have seen too much. We are a long way from Eden. Jesus sheds tears daily for where we are and what we have created with this world he gave us. All of us....and we march on still.
This is one of those posts that may never really be finished. I am not THAT kind of writer. These are stream of consciousness kind of thoughts. Rambling thoughts.....thoughts that repeat themselves and chase rabbits and wander. This was written in the middle of the night because it woke me up and God very clearly told me to get up and write. Maybe I will tweak it...maybe not....so come back. I wouldn't publish it, but God once again has told me to do so....right now. Don't be afraid to step into unchartered territory....whatever that may be for you. God wants us to see and wants us to love and wants to carry us through. He wants us to UNDERSTAND what he did for us on the cross. Face the cross and then turn to the empty tomb.
Just keep swimming.