He looked deeply distressed for a boy his age. He just watched intently with deep sadness and sorrow in his eyes. My heart broke for the obnoxious little guy, but there wasn’t anything more I could do to help him or his family.
The traumatic events in our lives turn out to be lifelong memories we carry with us throughout our lives. I remember and heard stories from my grandparents about the Great Depression. That tough economic time shaped the way they thought and acted the rest of their lives. To be sure it instilled some sound economic philosophies.
The little guy I’ll call Daniel, is about 10 years old. He watched from a safe distance, crouched in our yard peering from behind bushes, doing his best to not be seen as he watched the other people.
I’ve seen some tough economic times in my life. I’ve had more than my share as an adult, although I won’t be pointing my finger at anyone for the consequences of my free will. I can recall some tough economic times when I was a kid about Daniel’s age.
I remember when my dad was off work due to back surgeries, I have a vivid memory of my mom working to help make ends meet. She worked at a convenience store at night off and on during that time, in a not so welcoming neighborhood.
I also have the memories of when my dad was working out of town to support us and my brother ended up in an accident in my mom’s car. Although my brother and his future wife were fine, my mom’s car was damaged badly and would be out of commission for a considerable time waiting on money to be able to fix it.
To add insult to injury, the other people in the accident sued my struggling mom and dad. This was the beginning of the “walking or hitchhiking” era of our lives.
I remember those difficult times like they were last month. I can still see the stress on the faces of my mom and dad.
As I contemplated little Daniel’s future and what it might do to or for him, I wanted to share with him a couple of things. First of all, I wanted to tell him that it’s easier being an adult and being the one to have some semblance of control over financial decisions.
As an adult, it’s easier to make sense and keep in perspective the acts associated with risk to gain. It’s much more difficult to watch and live through tough times when you are of an age that you are completely dependent on parents or guardians to care for you.
I wanted to pat Daniel on the back and let him know that I realize it’s tough to be a helpless kid.
The other thing I wanted to share with little Daniel is that the future and what happens to him as an adult will be his choice. I wanted to tell him he would be able to use this tough time as his ammunition to fuel his motivation and desire to not have to live through something like this ever again.
I yearned to tell Daniel, that God willing, his children wouldn’t have to either. I couldn’t say the things I wanted to say to the little fella. His mom doesn’t believe or think like we do. Out of respect, I kept my mouth shut.
As Daniel sat there crouched in the bushes, watching the activity below, he kept a wary eye out for the Sheriffs. He didn’t want another run-in with them…
God’s given little Daniel free will to choose how he believes in his life, he can choose God, or deny Him. He can also use that gift of free will to shape his world view. Daniel can choose a happy ending or a sad one; it will be his choice completely.
Little Daniel doesn’t have that choice today… Today he’s receiving the pieces to his life’s puzzle. And he’s puzzled… As he sits in the shadows, scared and confused, I sense he’s more sad than anything else.
Sitting in his crouched position in the corner of our yard, little Daniel watched the new people move into the house he called home and slept in the previous night. The day before he, his mom, and sister were kicked out…
This will be a day he never forgets…