Saturday, November 6, 2010
The thief at my table
This is Opika.
Opika is a thief. At least thats what all the other homeboyz tell me.
Watching him color at my kitchen table you would never guess that. Today he is just a kid. Making a picture. Probably as a gift for someone he loves. When he is done he will show it to me proudly with a big grin. He will say,"Mom, look at my peekcha." Just like my own kids have so many times.
What you can't see in the picture is Opika's story. His father has many "wives". It's allowed here, he is a Muslim. The one Opika lives with here in our neighborhood is his step mother. She is a drunk. A fall down, belligerent drunk. I like her but still, she is a raging alcoholic in a world with no AA. Opi's dad has a good job. Two in fact. But there is never any food or school fees or new clothes. He spends it on women. A raging sex addict in a world with no SA. SO Opika lives a life of survival.
I guess that is why I am rooting for him.
He started school last month. It was so amazing to watch him grinning from ear to ear in his new uniform. Jeremy cut his crazy hair so you can't even see the fungal infection that causes him to have a bald spot. He was doing so good getting himself up and out to school. He has no one to wake him up or make sure he eats a healthy breakfast. Yet, he was still an enthusiastic learner. Until this week. He got sick. His sister, who has her own tragic story, woke him once but his dad yelled at her to let him sleep. He has missed a few days and he is already behind. I am worried. I want him to succeed. I see his potential, yet I realize the odds against him. My prayers sound more like pleading for this child. I am desperate. He needs more than I have to give. I am so grateful he has a Savior. Even if Opi doesn't know Him yet. God knows his name. God knows every hair on his balding little head.
I am sure your neighborhood has an Opika. A kid who never looks clean. A kid with bad manners and no parental supervision. You don't have to move to Africa to help kids like Opi. Look outside when you call your kids in from playing. See who is last to go home. Don't keep your kids from playing with the kids whose parents are drunks. Invite them in. Love them. Tell them with your actions about the love of Jesus.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’