When I say, “hanging out with kids,” what’s the first picture that pops into your mind? After last night, the first thing that pops up in my mind would be rats! Not the ugly sewer rats from New York that rival alligators in size and strength, but pet rats.
Last night, I got to hang out with a bunch of kids at a local ministry to single moms called Family Life Services. Talk about a great experience! Each family lives on campus for a very low-fee, and getting accepted into Family Life Services means also having access to counseling, crisis assistance, and life skills training. I overheard one mom joking around about how she had actually tried to cooked something for the first time, and burned it!
I’ve always loved interacting with children, and especially little girls — I think it’s because I grew up with three younger sisters. This backfired last night when a very sweet girl wanted a shoulder-ride, and I agreed. What I didn’t know when I was agreeing to let her up on my back was that her offer was a package deal. You know those hidden fees that show up in everything these days — it was kind of like that. Not only did I have the great privilege of giving her a ride, but I also got to give her white pet rat a ride too. In fact, the girls thought it was so hilarious to set the rodent on me that they continued to do it randomly throughout the rest of the night.
At one point I was sitting at a picnic table minding my own business only to find a rat sitting on my head! Does anybody else find that slightly gross? As I was sitting there feeling the jagged claws of a rodent dig into my skull, I looked up and asked everyone at the table, “does anyone else ever get the feeling that there’s a rat on their head?” Surprisingly — in this group — several people said yes!
Although I went straight home and took a shower, I loved spending time with these kids that don’t have a daddy to love on them and help train them up in the way they should go. I can’t wait until next week, when I get to go back!
I would imagine that if you looked in your home town you will find a ministry similar to Family Life Services. If you find one, call and see if you can go hang out for a night with the kids or maybe the moms. See if maybe God could be calling you to go hang out every week or once a month — you’ll never know until you try!