WE FIGHT. We see each child's value in Christ, and we call out who they can become as loudly as we can to counteract the lied that bombard them. We won't give in.
FAIRY TALES ARE MORE THAN TRUE – NOT BECAUSE THEY TELL US DRAGONS EXIST, BUT BECAUSE THEY TELL US DRAGONS CAN BE BEATEN. -Neil Gaiman, paraphrasing G.K. Chesterton There was once a young prince who desperately wanted to be adopted by a family who would love him and be his forever. Having spent three years in foster care, his heart yearned for a permanent mother and father, but his desire could not be. Neither his biological parents nor the courts would allow it, leaving him to face many more years in the foster care system, and, following that, a future on his own. It hurt him fiercely, cutting like the claw of a dragon – heart deep – telling him he would always be alone, and God did not care. He was powerless against it.
The courageous prince did the only thing he knew to do: together with his friends, he stormed the gates of heaven for help from the only One he knew who was more powerful than the dragon – seeking not for his lot to change (well, perhaps he petitioned for that a bit, if we're honest), but for the faith to trust that his Heavenly Father yet had good plans for him.
This is the beginning of a very true story still being written – a tale sure to be filled with adventure and glory, heartache and joy. It's a story which began at The Children's Home in our cottage for young children age 5 to 12 (though at times they seem much older in soul, and, occasionally, much younger).
It happened that several years ago Lou and Stacey, the houseparents in that home, were keenly aware that their tender charges were struggling deeply with anger and anxiety, and rather than simply contending for them, resolved to fight alongside them.
The home began a monthly time of worship, self-reflection, individual prayer and community prayer coupled with praying for one another. Centered around a set of white boards upon which the kids write their hurts, wants, thanksgivings and prayer requests, each child finds this time a safe place to express the deep and sincere struggles they are walking through. The anonymous white boards stay up for the month, allowing the family an opportunity to acknowledge each other's pain and to practice compassion and intercession. And, oh, how these kids pray over each other, and how quick they are to suggest prayer when someone is hurting. It's a marvelous, merciful battlefield.
At such a frontline, beasts, which would otherwise stay buried and continue to scratch and tear at souls, are allowed to surface and be engaged in combat. At such a frontline, the dragon of fear which ripped away at our young prince was, at long last, called forth and vanquished.