We sit on the grass. She is 10-years old and the afternoon breeze teases her hair with abandonment so that it blows in and out of her face. Her eyes sparkle as she looks at me with a big smile on her face.
She is a new child of God. Five hours old.
“This has been a good day,” she tells me. “I am a new Christian.”
I ask her what that means to her and she tells me with clarity. “Bree explained it to me over and over and I was interested. I knew this event was sponsored by her church and I was hoping I would learn more … which is exactly what happened.”
We were quiet for awhile. We watched a squirrel scamper up a tree and then down again.
“But Linda,” she said. “I’m scared.” The enthusiasm was gone.
“I’m scared what will happen when my mom finds out I became a Christian.”
“Does your mom not believe in God?”
“Well, not like the people here do. She’s a leader in the ______________ faith. She will be so angry.” (She mentions a cult prevalent in the area.)
“Why did she allow you to come?”
The girl props her head on her knees.”She doesn’t know. She just thinks Bree wanted me to come to a fun kids’ day. Mom’s speaking to a couple thousand people today and needed a babysitter so this worked out well. I knew. I knew it had something to do with Bree’s church, but I didn’t tell my mother. She was so glad to have somewhere for me to go, she didn’t check on it.”
She talks to me some more and I can see that she is facing major difficulty when she gets home. I tell her I’ll pray for her and then I find several verses about God being with us. She writes them down in her new Bible (that she got after trusting Christ).
I assure her the Lord will be with her at the same time knowing these situations can be extremely traumatic to a child and there aren’t always great endings. This baby Christian is going home to a treacherous situation,
And I pray.
She hangs with me the rest of the day, needing to hold my hand, to feel my arm around her shoulder. I have no opportunity to talk to Bree’s mom or anyone from her church.
We never know. That young child who is listening wide-eyed and with yearning to our lesson may be going home to a situation that we have NEVER faced nor will we EVER face it in the future.
We give these kids over to God’s love. compassion, and care.
Because even though
I will never know what happened to that 10-year old.