Last week when arriving at Haven House to serve as a tutor for Whiz Kids, I saw the room more crowded than usual. I asked what’s going on. The other tutor told me two more families had moved in this week and that brought about five kids to our group. It was a crowded room and generally, Whiz Kids activities can get pretty noisy so I anticipated a good headache by the time we were done. In reality, all of the kids were amazingly subdued. Each kid had three crafts to do, then a nice little buffet of crackers, salami, grapes and celery with ranch dressing. The line for having seconds grew fast. The fruit punch had strawberry sherbet in it and that made everyone really excited. After the snack, each kid was given three gifts: a pair of gloves, a small rubber ball and a tin piggy bank, all from the dollar store. The kids were delighted. The finale was two homemade cookies to decorate for their parents. Out came the frosting, the sprinkles and colored sugar.
When it was all finished, we all gathered with some parents joining us, into a big circle holding hands to pray. With approximately 40 people, this could have taken longer than the attention span of the kids. But to my surprise, as the prayers started around the circle the kids stayed quiet and waited their turn, giving thanks for the group, the fun, the tutors and Haven House itself. The prayer of the last kid struck my heart with his simple words, “I sure love you Jesus and thanks for this place.”
It suddenly dawned on me that each kid living there now had more provisions than Jesus did the night he was born and some figured it came from Jesus. Even though their homelessness won’t last forever, while they are in it, their hearts are tender and intuitive. As one of the new kids was leaving with his arms full of his bounty, he shouted to the leader, “Thanks for Whiz Kids!”
This bit of reality was what I needed to see the full meaning of the Christmas miracle. It has somehow escaped me until I put myself in the shoes of the homeless families.
Whiz Kids Volunteer