I drive by and see them when I take the back streets in our little town. They stand, often leaning on the rickety porch posts - paint peeled to bare, splintering wood - their eyes glazed and empty. They don't wave.
Trash is scattered around the yard and in bags stacked against an unused entryway. A dilapidated van sits, rusting and rarely moved, a large black trash bag taped on as a partial windshield.
I've seen her, skinny and great with child. Different he's from time to time, little but skin and bones.
We've been told it's one of the drug houses on that street.
I pass by and fight tears. I recall the Proverb, "The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, for his hands refuse to work; All day long he is craving.." Prov. 21:25
I remember, before my parents helped me understand how to get a hold of desires that were controlling me, how miserably I craved "all day long." I remember how lazy I was. I remember, as a twelve-year-old, how empty and hallow I suddenly realized my soul was becoming. And I know now, I'd be that skinny, great-with-child, young woman, had I not surrendered my will to my parents and to God in October of 1977.
Of course, along the way - it has been forty-two years! - there have been thousands of surrenders, but how sweet those surrenders now seem!
How do we reach those in the chains of trying to fulfill endless cravings? I do not know. But, young parents, I do know that the more you train your little ones to recognize and build habits of self-control and diligence, the more likely they will not be that skin-and-bone, empty-eyed, lost soul that stands on the porch, gazing into nothingness.