OK, I know I'm not old. Every year I get older, there's some old fart telling me how young I still am ;).
But I started out as a sassy teenager in a runaway shelter for months, was a bratty street smart kid, got my shit together, grew up, managed a transitional living program for teens, had my own kids, blah, blah, blah.
Now through my ministry work I'm back in a teen shelter. I love it. Adore it. But I come home and cry sometimes. That didn't used to happen. Sure, there were kids that I was especially attached to, but I love all these kids. And they are different than the ones I am used to.
For the young teen tonight who ended up leaving, who kept telling me "Not even my mom cares." (and of course neither must you, because if my own mother doesn't care, how could you? is implied) I cried tonight. And I am angry at the police office who wouldn't take a missing person's report because, well...he didn't really have a good reason, except that he was young and white and privileged and in a position of power...and this kid is young and black and poor and has nothing. So what's one more kid on the street on a cold November night?
I didn't used to cry. But I came home and looked at my own beautiful 13 year old daughter and thought, for the grace of God...
These kids are my kids. I don't care who their mama is. And they are breaking my heart.