This morning I randomly opened one of my journals from two years ago. A journal i started on my journey to Canada, Seattle, singapore, home, melbourne and home again. I flipped to a page that described the train trip home to Newcastle after returning from Singapore.
There were some cheeky kids sitting behind me who started throwing Mi Gorang at me. I shrugged it off at first, but then it got super annoying so I stood up to leave and then got into a long conversation with them. Their lives were full of not fun stuff. Both boys had been in and out of juvenile detention, and they clearly liked doing things to get attention and reactions out of people (ala myself and Evan). They spoke of being homeless because their parents didn’t want to deal with them, so they rode trains to keep warm and for entertainment.
I felt helpless. I wanted to fix them, to give them a home to belong in, to give them parents to love and nurture them. But i was just an exhausted 25 year old, in the early winter mornings on a train. I left the train with a thought. How do we parent those whose parents have chosen not to parent. Is it the responsibility of the state, as it is a justice issue, or is it the responsibility of the church to take up the slack as the family representatives of God?
In Uganda, when parents died of aids, the village would collectively take care of the children left. So we would attend churches that were 60% children. and 20% old people.
We are the family of God.
We are the governors and stewards.
How do we do this better? Ideas?