She was the mother of our very first foster baby. The baby was a tiny 6 day old when she arrived at our home. Blone hair, blue eyes and just adorable. Her young mother was in jail. She called every day and I held the phone up to her ear so she could talk to her baby. I had the awkward challenge of holding the phone while trying to illicit some sort of sound from baby so Mama would know she recognized her voice. We only had this baby for 30 days before she transferred to another foster home so we could keep two brothers together. The mom was only 18 and had been in and out of juvenile hall before this. Her heart's desire was to be a good mama. She worked hard and finally got her baby back. She loved her beautiful little girl and resolved never to be in that situation again. But life started moving along again. She lost some of her resolve, as many of us do after making a New Year's Resolution. Losing our resolve might land us back on the couch instead of at the gym, or delving into that secret stash of chocolate we'd sworn off. Perhaps we resolved to watch less tv or sit together at the dinner table. When we fail in those areas we often feel a sense of guilt, but we secretly know we'll try it again next year. This mama's loss of resolve caused her to lose focus on being healthy for herself and her child and slowly slipped back into the old routines with the old people and the old passions pulling at her pant legs urging her down that dark path. The same scenario played out with the second child. What is a mama to do? I know how despairing I feel at times as a mom. I fail my children. I make poor choices and incorrectly prioritize my day. But this mama's failings caused her to lose her children.
Two days ago that mama ended her stay on earth. Didn't she know that although her children were lost to her, all was not lost. Didn't she know that her own life had value? Didn't she know that there was a loving God calling her name, not pointing His finger? She didn't know. She couldn't hear. She couldn't see. Her pain was so big, and no doubt the flood of accusations from the enemy of man's soul were clouding her thinking, blaring in her ears and blinding her from the truth.
While I work and care for the little ones that come to our home, I also have great compassion for the parents, especially the mamas. Not that the mama's should get their children back, in many cases they shouldn't, but oh for them to know that their own lives hold value regardless of the outcome of the case. None of these mama's wanted to grow up and hurt their children. I pray that we, as Christians, learn to look past the outward and seek to touch the hearts of the people we come in contact with. I hope we will not only pray for the children, but for the lost mamas as well. For one of these lost mama's Jesus will leave the rest of the sheep and search and search. And when one of these lost one's is found there is great rejoicing. And when one of these lost ones ends it all because it doesn't know it's valued and can't hear the call of the Shepherd because the wolves are howling so loudly...when the Good Shepherd finds it...He weeps.
May the Lord have mercy on Her soul