I was sitting on the floor of a home for children at risk in India helping six-year-old Shresh do his homework. He had a little book of folded paper we gave him – he kept it as a prized treasure in his backpack with all his other homework. He would draw pictures, ask me for the English spelling of that word, and write it under the picture. It was crinkled and well worn, but to him, it might as well have been gold.
At one point, he handed the book and pencil to me. “Auntie, write down what I am saying.” I thought the point of doing homework was to have him practice writing and spelling, so I didn’t want to write for him, but soon after he started talking it didn’t take me long to comply. Like an excited journalist tripping upon the perfect quotes, I scribbled as fast as I could, careful not to miss a thing.
“Auntie, write, ‘God everybody loves.’”
I said, “God loves everyone?”
“Yes, write it down, Auntie. Right there.”
“Write, ‘on Christmas, God everybody loves. Always, God everybody loves. And God everybody sees. God… God is watching. He is looking down and He is watching.
“God everybody gives nice new shoes, nice new bag, nice new clothes, nice new house, nice money… nice shoes, nice new bags…”
I’m writing all of this down as he repeats things he has said three times already.
“And God… His angels come down behind us when we’re worshipping, and they sing. God… God is listening. In this room with fourteen people and all are talking and we are talking, as friends, just us, and God hears us and He is listening. When I pray to him, he is listening. At night, when I go to sleep, God isn’t sleeping. He’s staying up praying for me. He is watching. He is listening.
“‘God gives us nice shoes.’ Write this down, Auntie. ‘God gives us nice shoes, and nice bags… nice school, and church, and nice safety walking back’… Are you getting this, Auntie? Right there.”
It may seem like these are superficial things, but to a six-year-old boy who spent much of his young life wandering the streets, you realize the importance of having shoes. Of having a backpack to keep your homework in – that you even have homework and school. How “safety walking back from church and school” is not something he was used to, not something to take for granted. He’s not saying that God is out to make us rich. He is saying that God has provided everything he needs. And he is grateful. These things are wonderful to him.
He starts talking about how God hears the prayers for the mommies in the brothel. How in Heaven, mommies aren’t in brothels. And I realize, what he’s saying is true. Yes, there are people on the street. There are people without shoes. But God is in the process of giving everybody shoes. There are people without food. But God is in the process of giving people food. Clothes, money, a home. If anyone else said that, I wouldn’t listen. I’ve seen my fair share of people without shoes, or clothes, or food. But when Shresh said it, all of a sudden I understood. Shresh has shoes. Sara has a home. Sahil has a bag. Riya has school. They’re all kept safe. And based on their circumstances, these things ought not to have been.
Street people were given food. Their bellies aren’t always full, but I’ve seen God give them food. Not everyone has shoes, but God isn’t done moving, yet. He’s just waiting on the edge of his seat for the next servant of his to step up and keep his redemptive work moving forward.
He is in the process of making All Things New. (Rev 21:4-6)
God, everybody loves. And God, everybody sees. He is listening to their prayers and answering. And one at a time, God gives everybody nice new shoes, new bag, new home. Safety, money to live. He restores their lives and gives back what was taken. Through us, on earth, and in Heaven, all at once.
Megan attended our Fall DTS in the 2013 and went on outreach to India and Nepal. After completing DTS, Megan joined staff at YWAM Madison and works with missions training and mobilization.
Photo Credits: First~Caryn Werner. Second~Brad Gardner. Third~Keisha Bruce.