Sunday, July 11, 2010


Last night there was a banging on our screen door. Dennis was out, so I thought that he had returned and needed me to unlock the screen door for him. I hurried downstairs and discovered two little faces peering in at me. It was two neighbor girls. I don't know them, although I think I've seen them playing around outside with the 40+ other neighborhood kids.

"We want sidewalk chalk," they said. "Can we borrow some?"

I said, "Sure," and fetched two of the bigger nubs from our declining stock of sidewalk chalk.

They giggled like they had accomplished a major mission and ran off. I knew I probably wouldn't see the chalk again, and I was ok with that. I thought.

Pretty soon there were a dozen kids outside in the driveway in front of our place. My own kids were upstairs playing.

The screen door banged again. It was another neighbor kid asking to borrow one of our plastic deck chairs.

"Where are you going to take it?" I asked in my most chipper, syrupy neighbor voice.

"Just there," she said, pointing to the driveway.

Soon all five of our plastic chairs were across the street on another neighbors' patio.

"Grumble, grumble," I thought.

My girls finally went outside to play too, and took the rest of the nubby chalk with them. There were only two pieces left. I sighed and mourned the loss.

Then the first two girls were back. "We're thirsty," they said.

My kind sister-in-law asked them if they would like some water. "I want iced tea," one announced flatly.

Then to my horror, they came in the house and tramped into my kitchen. They started pilfering through some of the stuff on my counter. They found one of our girls' little dollar store notebooks and loudly exclaimed how much they liked it. Bee gave them their drinks and they thought the water was too cold. Then they left most of it on the counter and went into our living room. They started looking through a box of Lael's special quiet time toys that was sitting on our couch.

"Oooo!" they said. "This is a cute book. Can I have it?"

We ignored that. They touched everything in that box. They grabbed a magnetic picture board and sat down to play on our chair. I stood in the kitchen with a furrowed brow.

"How rude!" I thought. "They just marched in here like they own the place. And the way they are giggling at each other makes me know that they feel like they really accomplished something by getting in our house."

Soon their nanny came by and asked them to come home. They ignored her. She came back about 5 minutes later and asked again. They ignored her again. I was making our own supper by this time and was wondering what would happen when I was finished with it and it was time for us to eat. Would they go?

"I'm hungry," one said. "Can I have a cookie?"

"Grrr," I thought.

Finally it was time for us to eat and I pulled out the syrupy sugar voice again. "Ok!" I chirped. "Thanks for coming over! You'll have to come another time to play again. (I lied...) It is time for us to eat supper and so you need to go, and your nanny has been calling you..."

They didn't really act too fast. I am not authority to them. But finally they reluctantly put the toy away, took one more glance around the room at all the stuff we have and left. I breathed a frustrated sigh and went back to the kitchen, relieved that the inconveniences had left.


A little while later I regurgitated the whole tale to Dennis. "Wasn't that terrible? Weren't they rude to march in here like that and demand all that stuff?! They are kids of rich people. They could have gone home and gotten anything they wanted. They have no respect for us and just wanted to use us." I was looking for some justification.

Dennis just said, "Well... isn't that why we came here?"

And then I heard Squeaky singing a little song, "I want to be like Jesus, to walk and talk like Jesus; I want to live like one who follows Him..."

That night she prayed and thanked God for the friends who had come over.


HopiQ said...

Oh, I could hear myself in your post! Thank you, thank you, thank for your transparency. Isn't the Lord so gracious to teach humility and compassion? It reminds me when the disciples were tired of the pesky children, but the Lord said, Let the little children come to me...

pat ve said...

Dennis is a good counter balance for ones like you and me. Dad, would often be that for me. Oh how I need God's perspective especially living in a land of "personal rights". Thank you so much for your story.

Jake and Erin said...

Wow. What a lesson. I too could totally hear myself in your words! What a humbling reminder. Thank you so much for sharing this. It means a lot.

David and Amy Campsall said...

just to let you know we are often praying for your family with the children at night. Aria was one of the names given to a toy today while chloe was playing with one of her cousins.:) God Bless you as you walk with him in a strange land