Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Story of Saturdays

In October, a special girl invited me into her home. At 15, she was the oldest to 5 younger brothers. Her mom had gone into labor two months early and they needed a ride to the hospital. Simple enough. What began as a small act of piling kids into my car, jamming to Taylor Swift, and trying to explain to every nurse at the hospital that "no, these aren't my kids." and "no, their mother doesn't speak english.", turned into a relationship that motivates my weeks, humbles me daily, and gives little pieces of heaven to so many. 

Later this same evening Abdi, the oldest brother, asked if I would come play soccer on Saturday. Due to my secret desire to go back to being 10 years old…my heart jumped! Soccer on Saturday sounded like the best idea. I had been praying for a way to become a part of this family's life and through those the small words, God laid my invitation before me.

That following Saturday I showed up with a small box of chalk,  a somewhat flat kick ball, and a jump rope. I knocked on the door to Abdi's house and as it opened I watched about 20 kids between the ages of 6 months to 15 come pouring out of this small house. As my legs became inner twined with little arms hugging, and holding on tight, my ears began to be filled with a sound I had been missing.

"Joy as a sound' may be a strange way to say it, but I can't find any other words to describe this particular kind of sound…it just sounded like…well, joy.

After a long day of playing… I realized quickly in no way could I do this every Saturday by myself. 

I had been in Nashville for a short month and was still in the process of meeting people and making new friends. I began to pray intentionally for God to provide.

In January God placed in my life two beautiful new friends. 

The first was my new roommate, co-worker and now dear friend, Corisa. Her love for people and desire to support and come alongside another is by far one of the most inspiring gifts.

The next was a new friend who will be working for CSM in Denver, his name is Jordan. His passion for speaking with his entire being of the love of Jesus is something that brings life to our time in the community, as well as our friendship.

Every week (with the exception of the first) I have not come alone. God has been so faithful in providing these kids with more and more "big kid" hands each Saturday. It overwhelms me to recall all the many faces who have come out just play and watching my friends feel just as loved as our small friends is where I see the Kingdom of God come full circle. My heart is full.

Saturdays have become the highlight of our week. Our short park day has gone from one family to around 15. We are meeting parents and building other relationships with the wonderful folks in this community.  Our play time has gone from just soccer and kickball, to... jump rope, wheelbarrow races, football, ring around the rosy, swings, chalk, fighting over bikes, puppies, dancing, popsicles, hugs, kitties, Easter egg hunts, piggy back rides, screaming into the drain pipe, spinning in circles and running until we literally can't run anymore! 

But I think if you had to ask any "big kid" their favorite part, it would be sitting in a small circle at the end of our time and hearing what each child is thankful for. 

My favorite answer to this day is a tie between "cupcakes" or Abdi…"You guys are what I am thankful for - you're my best friends."

I think that when Jesus said "let the little children come to me" it was because he knew two things.
1. That little kids are the most fun!
2. That the sound of joy…pure and unhindered, sticks to your soul like honey…is found in those small voices that fill my heart each week. 

Teach us to keep loving. Teach us to keeping playing. Teach us to keep laughing. Thank you for joy.

- Bailey Hazouri, CSM Nashville Apprentice

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1 comment:

tim said...

Nice post, Bailey!