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Because Going Back Changes Your Perspective

The day I went back began one afternoon several years ago.   I picked up my children from school, we grabbed a treat from a drive-through and went for an after school drive, as I listened to them tell me about their day.

“Amber likes Robert…Robert likes baseball…Karen fell on the playground and I don’t know what to do for a science project.”  Megan always had the ability to allow her words to tumble out  – one subject led right into the next.

Jacob, the oldest, endures his sister’s conversation by staring out of the car window thinking of his own day.

Finally, having heard enough, Jacob changes the subject.  “ Mom, where did you live when you were a little girl?”

“I’ll show you”, I replied gleefully.  Excited to drive through a neighborhood that I had not seen in years.

Up what use to be a hill (but is really just a rise in the road), and across the railroad tracks to the old neighborhood.

The yard that went on forever is a lot smaller than I  remembered.  There was the old Magnolia tree that my daddy planted during my first week out of the womb.  It had grown so very much and is now towering over the small two bedroom home.

I’m not sure how I feel about being almost as old as a tree that looks like the ancient-of-days of trees.

Our Red brick house with white trim has now been painted Pepto-Bismol pink along with the trim and iron columns in the front.

“My” plum tree where I would sit and eat green plums until I had a stomach-ache, is now gone.  Probably cut down years ago.

I drive past the house slowly, trying to remember my sister and me running through the yard, climbing trees, daddy cooking out in the back yard, and mom opening the crank windows in the early mornings letting in the cool of the day.  No air conditioning back then for us.   Only an attic fan whose hum lulled me to sleep each night. It was our only relief from a south Alabama summer; and so many of my cousins, aunt and uncles who lived around the corner.

Blue flashing lights and a siren pulling me over jolt me back to the present.  The policeman walks up to my car and wants to know why I’m in this area.

I tell him about the pink house that use to be red brick with white trim that I lived in when I was little.

“Mam”, He begins, “This is not a safe area.  Turn your car around and leave immediately.”

More than a little surprised, I make a u-turn and watch in my rear view mirror and the officer follows me to the entrance of the neighborhood before turning in a different direction.

I had heard that the area had gone to drug dealers and gangs, but it never occurred to me that I would be in such danger.  It was after all, my old home where there was plenty of love and laughter.

I have thought about that day from time to time, wondering what happens to children whose lives know little more than violence in a neighborhood that is call “Unsafe”.  Saddened at the thought that a place that held so many sweet memories of childhood for me could be a place of wounded memories for another.

Looking back opens your eyes.

Nothing is as big as it seemed, and the little things are the biggest treasures.

Closing our eyes can take us back,

and closing our eyes hides the here and now.

And God is whispering to my heart to be the hands and feet, to be the light on the stand.

This week in a different neighborhood, that is not too terribly different at all, not far from my childhood home, I begin working with their children.  Teaching them to embroidery, talking about life skills, being leaders in kindness and godly wisdom,  learning to use these skills to make money for their families, and teaching them  to teach the ones coming behind them.

Won’t you pray for these and all children to know the hope of their calling in Christ?

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying “whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’”  Then I said, “Here I am. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

FaithBaristaLLogo2Work In Progress Wednesday

Posted by Diane W. Bailey on August 22, 2012
10 Comments Post a comment
  1. 08/22/2012

    What a lovely and touching story. First, I think it’s sweet that you go on after-school rides with your children and wonderful that you are working with less fortunate children. Years ago when we lived in NJ I helped with a Bible Club in the projects and every day when I pulled away from the run-down community center, I thought about the fact that I was merely visiting this unsafe place, but these children were living in it every day. Bless you, Gail (

    • 08/22/2012

      GAil, I with you. I pray for my little children who must live in these areas. I can only imagine what it must be like, but I know that God sees them and has mighty plans for each one. it is people like you and me who go in and let them know the way out is putting Christ in.

  2. 08/22/2012

    Wow, Di. What a story, and what a blessing you’ll be to these kids — Praying for you as you touch their lives, hopefully for eternity!!

    • 08/22/2012

      Thank you Susan, I wish you were here, I’d take you along with me. I know you would love my girls.

  3. 08/22/2012

    This is a beautiful post! I especially liked the ending. I hope that God blesses both you and those children. I am sure that they will learn so much from you!

    • 08/22/2012

      Thank you Mary, they are such a blessing to me. I’m not sure who is receiving the greatest blessings.

  4. 08/23/2012

    Odd behavior for a police officer. God must have been protecting you from something you couldn’t see.

    • 08/23/2012

      I agree Nikole, I had the impression the whole time I talked with the police officer that he knew something that he was not sharing. God was no doubt involved in such a strange event.

  5. 08/24/2012

    Hi! This happened to me a few years back when I visited my old neighborhood. I felt so empty then. I remember that when my widowed mother sold the old house, I was so angry; but the Lord must surely have guided her to bring her children to a safer place.

    • 08/24/2012

      Hi Aya, Nice to meet you! It is sad that somethings cannot stay the same. I’m so glad you could see your mother’s wisdom and that she was able to take you to a safe place. Have a beautiful weekend!


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