For the past few weeks we have been taking care of a two and a half year-old boy through Safe Families, a great organization that seeks to provide temporary homes for children without foster care or the courts. His mother is looking for a job to support her family, which is difficult to do while caring for a such a young child. As we have taken this boy in our home, the mother has been freed up to find a job. We are praying for her to find a job, and be united with her family.
This little boy has a very sweet disposition and we have enjoyed bringing him into our family for this short time. And for the most part, things have gone quite smoothly. Last night, however, we had a bit of a run-in.
One of the things that this boy really appreciates is bedtime stories. We have set out about twenty books that my wife pulls from to read with him shortly before putting him down for the night.
Well, last night, my seven year-old son happened to be in the room around reading time. He began looking at some of the books that were going to be read in a few moments. I think that this little boy felt threatened. He began taking the books from my son’s hand and yelling at him, “No!” He said, “Mine!”
Now, I have great compassion for this little boy. He’s alone, apart from his mother and family, and in our house, not his own. These books have probably become a sense of security and joy for him. And when my son began to look at them, he was justifiably upset.
However, he was wrong. These books weren’t his. In fact, they are my son’s books, that he has willing let this boy use during his stay with us. So, we took this little boy into the bathroom and tried to explain this to him.
As we were talking to him about these books, I thought of how I often respond in a same way toward God. Everything that we have is His gift to us. “The earth is the LORD’s and all it contains” (Psalm 24:1). He gave us life and breath and all things (Acts 17:25). The apostle Paul rightly asks, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). And yet, many times, I am possessive of “my things,” not realizing that they are really the LORD’s, which I am using for a brief time.
May we all hold our possessions loosely.