For this. Thank you.

I’m going to do a little bragging. A little celebrating. First, about my sister. She and her husband are amazing. I refuse to tell them that, because that is what everyone says to them, and sometimes saying that lets us keep the distance of awe and wonder and not feel the sacrifice and pain of the wide open lives Callie and Jason are living.  But it’s true. They are amazing.

On Sunday they received the news that the foster family who was preparing to take their four foster kids next had backed out.  Being that Callie was on week four of “bedrest” with her pregnancy, and they had been trying to find a new foster family for the kids since September, this news was devastating.  They are exhausted, overwhelmed; they feel alone.  They’ve done the hard work of grieving letting go these precious lives they love and have been privileged to care for this past year, but the goodbye hasn’t come.  They’ve held off preparing for the imminent birth of their second son – nine years after their first – because they haven’t had the time or space to turn their attention there, and the babies they have in their home now need their love and attention now. 

I sent out an email to my congregation – please hold Callie and Jason and their little family in prayer.  This happened, I said. Nowhere else for these kids to go.  Fear and sadness.  Tiredness.  Please pray.  And I knew they would.  Second bragging/celebrating – this small, quirky little group of Christ-followers here in Minnesota – also amazing.

When I awoke Monday morning I found myself arguing with God.  God! What is going on here?  Help them, PLEASE!  Those kids need a safe home; Callie needs rest.  Jason needs help.  They can’t carry this on their own any more!  For safety, God, for rest God, for help, God, TODAY.  Do something TODAY.

Three hours later the phone rang.  It was Ms. Barb from church.  Ms. Barb and her husband Mr. Lee (as my children call them) take care of children for a living.  It’s what they do.  And they had prayed.  
“I want to help.” she told me.  “I want to go down to Kansas and help.  It’s what I know how to do.  I can do this, Kara.”  
So she did.  
She packed her car, cast her vote, and hit the highway on Tuesday morning to go into the home of these people I love, but whom she had not even met.
“How long will you stay?” I asked her, when she was half-way from Minneapolis to Kansas on the longest solo car trip of her life so far.  “We’ll play that by prayer.”  she answered.

“OK.” Callie told me on Tuesday.  “Bedrest is ending. We made it this far.  Barb is coming.  We can shift our thinking.  I wont let the department split them up and place them in shelters and take them out of their therapy school when this week they have a home here.  We can do this week now, and so that is what we will do.”  For safety, for rest, for help, God, TODAY.
So that is what they are doing.  My Ms. Barb and my sister Callie.  Loving kids, scrubbing floors, freezing meals, getting ready to make space in their home for a new life in the midst of these lives being saved – all of them, by each other.  This is grace in the flesh.  And I am celebrating.

For the communion of broken saints, who say, “I can do that.” and then do it, thank you, God.  For hope that comes in surprising ways, thank you, God.  For holding our tomorrows and our next weeks, thank you, God.  For the gift of carrying each other’s pain and joy in prayer, thank you God.  For safety, for rest, for help for Callie and Jason, today, thank you, God.

(You can see more about Callie and Jason's journey in a guest post Callie wrote, and I also did set up a meal registry for them - so if you are in Kansas or Missouri and want to cook a meal, or anywhere else and want to send them a food gift card, you can participate!)

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