Brenda heard the door slam, then stomping, as the angry eight year old boy made his way up the stairs. Here we go again, she thought, hearing another door slam shut.
His homework notebook was tossed on the sofa. Brenda could see the bright yellow teacher’s note sticking out the top, telling her to please call. She would, but not yet.
“Father, his only hope is you. Truly you are a Father to the fatherless, and you bind up the brokenhearted no matter how small. Show me how to lead this little one into your arms,” she prayed.
As she reached for the phone, Brenda stopped short in revelation. How could she have missed it? The dark haired boy with even darker eyes, staring night after night at the telephone.
It was Foster-care 101. J.T.’s birthday was weeks ago and his mother never called. The Superhero’s at his party were not enough to fix that kind of hurt.
She would make the phone ring for J.T. if she could, her heart aching to make things right. Even praying she knew more promises would only make it harder if they were simply left broken.
The rest of the week continued in similar fashion with her young foster-son. Brenda wasn’t mistaken. She caught J.T. glaring at the phone several more times, even that morning before church. Each time it seemed his jaw set harder and she could watch resentment grow in his eyes.
Brenda was praying as they rode in the car. It seemed every still moment she had lately was spent lifting this young boy to the throne-room of the Father. Foster care had been such a blessed change for their childless home after so many quiet years of disappointment.
She smiled as she thought of the letter she just received from their first foster-child. Melissa would be having a child of her own soon and had thanked her for helping her see what true motherhood looked like. Encouraging words Brenda really needed right now.
“Lord, we believe you brought J.T. to us for a good purpose and us to him. Show us what that is.” She continued to pray, even as the service was ending.
“Brenda, excuse me for intruding, but may I talk to you about J.T.?” Mrs. Marjorie began before she could get into the seat beside her.
“Do you think he would like to spend the afternoon with me? I made a nice lunch and a cake and was telling the Lord that I really didn’t want to eat by myself today.”
Brenda agreed to ask J.T. but was surprised at how quickly he said “yes”. It must have been the cake, she thought with a smile, but was glad for the both of them.
J.T. did not want to talk much about his time at Mrs. Holmes when Brenda picked him up. But she noticed the day ended without any slamming doors and none the following week.
On Saturday the telephone rang. “Could J.T. come again tomorrow?” asked Mrs. Marjorie. “He reminds me so much of my grandson when he was young. Chad is in college now but we always enjoyed gardening together on Sunday afternoons.”
“I must confess,” she continued. “I’ve been growing resentful of the time I was spending alone and as I prayed the Lord pressed J.T. on my heart.”
Brenda smiled, and gave God a thumbs-up as she put down the receiver.
The phone call from his mother never came, but as the years passed J.T. received many from Mrs. Majorie. He was nearly a grown man when she had a stroke. J.T. picked flowers from her garden and brought them to the hospital.
Brenda smiled, and marveled at the change, as she sat across from their now adopted son. The beautiful garden he had planted in their back yard had become their favorite spot to talk.
“Mom, I’ve decided to enroll in medical school next year. I know it’s a lot of money and a lot of work but I’m committed.” He spoke with enthusiasm. “I’ve been praying about what to do with my life and I want to help the elderly. I want to show people the Love of Christ near the end of their lives as you and Dad showed me at the beginning of mine.”
Brenda wiped the tears off her face as she listened to J.T.’s plans for his future, smiled, and gave God another thumbs up.
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