It wasn’t until I stood up that I saw how badly I had skinned my knee. I was at the top of the hill and my bicycle was now in the ditch. My leggings had a hole in them from the friction of the gravel and my face was stained by tears. I looked down the hill and could see my home. “Mommy!” I cried. She couldn’t hear me, and I knew that. The back bicycle tire was still spinning; pushing the daisies down with each revolution. Fear filled my chest as I realized the only way to get home was to get back on my bike. My leg hurt too badly to walk, and my voice wasn’t strong enough to carry very far. With tears streaming down my face I pulled my bicycle by the handlebars and dragged it toward me.
When I reached the front yard, I let my bicycle fall to the grass and ran up the faulty front steps. “Mommy!”, I yelled. She pulled the quilt aside that blocked the kitchen off and came out with wet hands. “I fell off my bicycle!”, I cried. “I was all alone and you couldn’t hear me. I am so scared, and I need you.” Mama looked at my knee and lifted my small 6-year-old body onto her lap. She held me and assured me I would be ok.
Those that I have served in The Salvation Army social services office since November 2017 have reminded me that we all need comfort.
The addict with her needle marked arms and sunken face.
Children with caregivers that are too overwhelmed to comfort them when they cry.
Mentally ill that cannot live in their own minds without fear and extremely painful memories.
The single mom that prostitutes herself while her children are left to put themselves to bed.
Elderly that have experienced such great loss and have no one to talk to.
The unemployed man that cannot find work because he does not have transportation.
The recently incarcerated who have been demonized and have the cards stacked against them despite their recovery.
These are the stories that have filled my heart for nearly two years and these are the stories that I will remember forever. May we all elevate our own hearts to a place of pure and unconditional compassion. My hope is that we tune our ears to the cries of the broken. “I was so scared, and I need you!”. May God’s love in us cradle them all—the children that they are—and show them they are loved.