Decorating Harris Home
To say my heart is broken would be an understatement! Today I looked straight into the faces of “the least of these.” Today every preconceived notion that is associated with teenage boys was thrown out the window. Every fear and anxiety was laid to rest when I saw little by little the distrust fade from their faces and smiles and laughs lighten their beautiful faces. Today, I saw 8 young men “count it all joy” without even knowing it.
In the middle of Huntsville, AL sits an inconspicuous building. Within those walls is nothing fancy. Within those walls is a family like none I had ever seen. Eight young men live within those walls. Eight young men who have lost their family in the traditional sense, but have gained a nontraditional family. These are the boys of Harris Home, a residential facility for boys 12-18 years old in foster care. Boys who, by the world’s standards, are too big of a risk to love. Today I saw that all these boys need is love.
We are a week and a half away from Thanksgiving and today, Christmas came to Harris Home. I’ll admit I went a bit overboard with purchasing decorations, but it was worth it to see their faces when they helped me carry it all in. It was worth it to see the excitement on their faces when they saw a platter full of chicken nuggets just for them. And when they saw there was Dr. Pepper, well, we could have ended the day there! Thankfully we didn’t. We went on to decorate their whole house. We put up a tree, we draped garlands down their staircase and we wrapped their bedroom doors with wrapping paper and bows. Each boy decorated a stocking and we hung it outside their door, they will be filled every week through the month of December.
(Pictures & names of the boys are not permitted for security reasons)
The best part though was the part that I feared would be a bust, craft time. You see, I have an 8 year old and a 10 year old. What do I know about what 14 and 15 year old boys like to do. To my surprise, they had the most fun decorating “their” ornaments and “their” stockings. Honestly, it never crossed my mind when I purchased the glass ornaments and felt stockings. I never thought about what it would mean to them to put THEIR name on something that was all theirs. You see, these boys have lost everything. Nothing is truly theirs. Their beds have been slept in by other boys. Their clothes have been worn by other people. Even their shoes have already been walked in. Who knew putting their name on an ornament and stocking would mean so much.
As we go into this Christmas season, I pray that my heart would remain on the little things. That my focus would be on why I celebrate such an amazing holiday. God gave His son that I would have life. I have my very blessed life, to give life to someone else.
…From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. Luke 12:48