God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land Psalm 68:6 (NIV)
Chad and Sharon were informed that an orphaned boy would visit their Sunday School Class for the first time. His name was simply Joey. No one ever found his parents because he was abandoned when he was a tiny baby. It was a surprise to see the boy’s infectious smile that illuminated his entire freckled face. His glimmering brown eyes conveyed feelings of warmth and joy. Chad bonded immediately but visual contact was brief. With a shout, Joey ran to Sunday School with the other kids. It was funny to see him run a perfectly straight course while his feet flew in several directions.
Joey assumed the lead throughout the class. He was first to volunteer to enter into the activities. “Let the little children come to me,” he read.
“But I’m not a little child, Mr. Chad, Joey said. I’m seven years old with big muscles, see.”
Chad and Sharon were silent as they drove home that day. “That boy is sold on you, Chad. Did you see that?” Sharon said.
“Okay, so what am I to do about it?”
“I bet he’ll be back because he needs a friend like you. You’re good at reaching the hearts of kids”
“Yes, but I get too emotionally involved. I can‘t pretend they’re our own. In fact, I‘ve thought about making this class our last one.”
“Maybe there’s wisdom in that but I doubt if you could do it.”
Despite Chad’s reservations about getting too close, the bond between he and Joey intensified. Sharon did little to discourage it’s progression. It was only a matter of time before the inevitable question arose. “Mr. Chad, can I go home with you and Ms. Sharon?”
Forcing emotional involvement aside, Chad and Sharon made arrangements for Joey to visit their home. He was overwhelmed to see the guest bedroom. “Man! All by myself! For two whole nights! The pace of the activities was exhausting with attendance at a recreational park and tossing a foot ball.
Their bonds strengthened as they simply hung out together; watching TV and eating popcorn. Joey frequently smiled and the complexion of his face appeared clear as glass. In the midst of his ecstasy, he asked, “Mr. Chad, why don’t I have a last name?”
“Why, I don’t know. I suppose it’s because your parents got lost somehow, I guess.”
“Yah, all the kids say I’m a freak.”
“Joey, I don’t care what other kids say. You’re not a freak,” Chad insisted.
“No,” Sharon added. “You’re a very sensitive and loving boy.”
“Well, at least while your’re here, can you imagine you’re a normal boy?” Chad said.
“Okay,” Joey replied. “But could you talk to those people at the orphanage. I’d sure like someone to give me a last name.”
Several visits followed. It was the same after each one ended; emptiness. Eventually, the inevitable time arrived and feelings toward Joey immerged. “Sharon. Joey needs a last name.”
“Don’t‘ stop there,” Sharon replied. “He needs three names.”
After much legal wrangling by some influential lawyers, a lonely orphaned boy received a new identity. So, on a glorious Sunday morning, Chad proclaimed to the entire congregation, “This is our boy. His name is Joseph Chadwick Harrington.”
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