TOBI BENTON

I Wonder

I Wonder

I Wonder

He just knocked on my door.  Came calling because he needed me.  The man-child who navigates an ocean of drifting little boats, children lost at sea.

Boys who WONDER what they have to offer ~ Girls who offer what should be left to WONDER

He is a mobile man.

One who has struggled to remember the numbers and the names of streets his heart-home has sat on.

One who grieves with each address change, the laughter, the being known, the standing beside others who the world would disdain. He grieves his friends. He’s a tender one, looking beneath the clothes, the hair, the piercings, the failures. Looking beneath the polish, the straight A’s, the designer clothes, the successes.

He can quote Proverbs 13:20. He’s heard it many times from his fearful parents, that a companion of fool’s suffers harm. “Walk with the wise, son.”

But I WONDER.

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.  Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.  Psalm 82:3,4
He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the LORD require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8

WONDER about our children.
I wonder, who is the weak and needy?  Is it the child who seeks counterfeit power and love, or the adults who helped set them adrift?
I wonder, who is the defender?  Is it the adults who assess who is fit, in mind and purpose, or the child who understands his peers reality and steps into it?
I wonder, who are the fatherless/motherless?  And might we all become the childless?

He just found out his friend from the last address, his right-next-door friend he baked cookies with ~ talked over the fence with ~ hopped rides to school with ~ listened as she shared her pain about being a girl who hates being the unwanted-wanted ~ this friend who had it all together and would graduate this year, heading off to her college of choice ~ this friend’s boat capsized yesterday.  And I hold a grieving son once more, this time searching for words to comfort a man-child who’s friend took her life.

 I WONDER as I weep.

For the hard.  The pain.  The suffering.  The loss.  The empty.  And I search for the Gift.  The Gift that opened to all, the One that helps remove the mask and opens the mouth to speak, and says…

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.  I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, “Do not hold them back.’  Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.  Isaiah 43
Pray.
Pray without ceasing, Favored One.
Live your prayers.
Be your prayers.
And in your prayers, ask to see with the Father’s eyes. See the children. See beyond the baggy pants and the perfect outfit. See beyond the F’s and the A’s.
See through to the heart of the child and help them make room for you in the boat they crest the waves in. Help them stay on top of the waters that roil.
masks (5)

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