I'm riding my bike around the track with my daughter in the evening light when I see you come. The way you've always come, but this time, my heart bleeds.
Because though you come outside, you come different. Harder. Blacker. With shaggy hair hiding your ears and a cap over your eyes and a skateboard attached to your feet. You hide your humanity and I believe, for a moment, you aren't human anymore.
You're not as interested in my yard...it's got no draw. You find others of your kind and I close my heart. I try to place judgement on you and determine I will not allow you to hurt me for your rejection of innocence. For I've seen you innocent. Stooping over beetles, swinging in the hammock, singing songs about Jesus in the backyard.
You've disappeared and I don't know what to do but close you out. I try to blame you so I won't feel guilty. For really, I'm afraid I didn't do enough. Show enough interest in you. Love you. Share the word Jesus with you. Laugh with you. When I could.
And now what will become of you, you child of this sinful world, just like me?
Though my heart wants to give up on you, the Spirit in me just won't. As I ride my bike I pray. Pray that somehow our home, our yard will be a safe light you'll always look to. Even while you test out the darkness. That my love will continue for you and you'll know that.
As I ride toward the house in the fading light you come asking for a cup of water. You sit on my steps and drink and I hit your hat down further over your eyes. I smile and remember who you were, and who you are still inside.
My heart bleeds, and I know it is a sign. I'm loving you, not as good as Jesus does, but for Jesus. I won't, I can't, give up on you.
Photos taken of cousins at the farm.
Letter written to all the little boys I've watched growing up, some in very difficult circumstances, embarking on the changes of adolescence very soon. It is a challenging time for many.