My mind has been flooded with new ideas this past week that I have never before explored. I began my first couple units of CASA (court appointed special advocates) on Tuesday and through the training process, my heart for at-risk children and youths has been even more inspired. Before this experience I never once gave enough thought to foster care, the child welfare system, or anything else of that sort. Learning about the dire needs of these foster children, I felt God guiding me to have a closer look into their hearts. Although they may have been abused and neglected by their parents, they still long for a relationship with them. That reminded me of how we were created and meant for relationships. But being in an institution all their lives, many suffer the loss of meaningful relationships. Judges, social workers, therapists, foster parents, and teachers - these are all people that care for them, but unfortunately they do not remain as consistent relationships.
The important thing for me to realize is that even though I am not a foster child, neither abandoned nor deeply hurt by my family, I am a human being and I have a deep emptiness as long as God is not present in my life. As a part of training, a teen who had been through the foster care system shared her experience of having been assigned a CASA volunteer the past two years of her life. She explained how just by having someone there that she was able to learn to grow to trust and love made the biggest difference in her life. Although life was constantly changing and moving, she felt that her relationship with her CASA was and will remain unchanging. Those last few words trails my thoughts to the unconditional and unchanging love that God has for us, and the reconciliation and intimacy that He desires for us with him and with one another.