I was in a large house with people in every room. I think I was supposed to be watching a group of children. I recognized one quiet little boy among them—he was about 6 years old. I didn’t know the other children, who ranged in age from 2-ish on up to 9 or 10, or so it seemed. There was chaos. People were coming in and out of each room of the house doing a variety of things. The kitchen was full of dirty dishes and glasses and there were snacks sitting out but I couldn’t tell what was what.
When I found the room the little boy was in, he looked at me across the mass of children and said, quietly, “I need a glass of water, please.” And then, “Can you read me a book?” His voice was calm.
“Sure,” I said. “Just wait here and I’ll got get the water and a book.” He smiled and sat in the corner of the room watching the other children running around doing various activities.
I had a hard time finding the kitchen and trying to decide if there were any clean glasses for water. Along the way I was distracted by all sorts of people, including a group of adults who were putting on a play with musical instruments and dialogue. I stopped to watch them because I recognized two of them—two guys who live in Nashville. It was fun watching the play, but finally I remembered the little boy and I left the room to look for his water and a book to read.
I found a clean glass and got the little boy some water, but I couldn’t find any books anywhere in the house. (More distractions happened in each room as I searched for a book, but I can’t remember them.) Finally I found a newspaper and got the comics, thinking he would enjoy that. When I got back to the room where he was, some of the children were asleep (thankfully) and the little boy was still waiting patiently for me. I gave him his water—which he thanked me for and drank politely. Just as I settled down on the floor beside him to read, I woke up.
The little boy represents the part of me who is learning to speak my voice. But also the part of me that is sensitive, thirsty, and maybe a bit needy. I’m trying to learn to take care of that little boy inside me (swimming, coloring mandalas, reading, writing) but I get easily distracted by special events and exciting activities. (Nothing wrong with those special events and exciting activities, so long as I also take care of that little boy.)
In Writing Our Way Home: A Group Journey Out of Homelessness (August, 2014, Triton Press, Oxford, Mississippi) edited by my friend, Ellen Morris Prewitt, one contributor says this:
I like when people listen because you can express your feeling and tell them how you feel about the situation or things they need to know and show and tell them how you care about a situation. The Bible tells you when God made the world he spoke it and whenever you ask in his name he will hear you. So it’s very important to speak your voice. Long time ago somebody told me you didn’t have no voice, it just made me determined to go forward in life no matter what people say about you. Just keep pushing in life.—Robbin K
When God made the world, he spoke it. I’m so glad that little boy keeps speaking his voice inside me. Maybe today I’ll sit down with a glass of water and read to him.