To watch a child learn and accept the love of a heavenly Father is an encouragement to anyone working with children. But, to watch a child who has experienced an earthly father walking out of his life accept Christ as his personal Savior and accept that there is a heavenly Father that will never leave him or forsake him is very special.
I had that happen with an eight-year-old young man. In his younger years, he had what appeared to be a perfect life for a child. His parents showed him love that seemed unconditional and they disciplined him appropriately. They brought him to church every Sunday and by all accounts were very active in his life. He was a happy joyful little boy.
Then, one day his, father decided to walk away from the marriage to this boy’s mother. From an adult perspective, he was walking away from a broken marriage and his wife, but when he walked away from the marriage, this little boy thought his daddy walked away from him too.
The divorce changed that little boy. From happy and joyous, he changed to distraught and closed off. However, over the course of nine months I watched this child, who attended the divorce recovery program for children at our church (DC4K.org), grow and mature by leaps and bounds. This child grew from a the distraught and closed off little boy he had become after the divorce into a young man who openly displayed physical affection, had joy in his very being, and shared his heart and his deepest thoughts. During the course of the program he asked some very thought-provoking questions about faith, God, Christ and why his dad had walked out. At one point, I asked him if he would like to talk about Jesus walking beside him and never leaving him.
My little friend indicated he did want to talk about asking Jesus to be His personal Savior. I presented the plan of salvation, and this child accepted Christ at that time. He wanted to tell his mother but he didn’t want to tell anyone else right then. His mom and I talked about his experience. She had a strong walk with the Lord, and I had no doubt that she would be there to help her child. I let the children’s minister where he attended church know what had happened, but I cautioned him that the child wasn’t ready to talk about it yet. I asked the minister to keep a watchful eye on this child. This minister was familiar with the child’s situation and I had no doubt that when the child was ready the minister would reach out. I knew this minister WOULD keep a watchful eye on this little boy and his family.