Wandering Children…Wondering Parents

I am a woman of privilege.

And so when I woke early this morning at my son’s house, I went to the espresso machine and made myself an Americano. And when I decided that I needed decaf, I jumped in my car and went searching the Sunday morning streets until I found a Dutch Bros.

I got my coffee.

And I got a lesson in privilege and blessings.

This is a university town but I’m not sure that it would differ greatly from small cities all over the U.S. Perhaps there are more young people here. I just didn’t expect to see so many of them sitting on benches before the chill was gone from the night. I was surprised to see young men on street corners pacing; or sitting next to backpacks.

I wouldn’t have been surprised to see aging men and/or women huddled next to shopping carts. Sadly, they have become fixtures to downtown areas.

Perhaps it is because I spent a boisterously fun evening with my high school and college-age grandchildren that I was drawn to these wandering ones. Perhaps it is in juxtaposition to being in the warm atmosphere of home with pizza and ice cream and conviviality.

I cannot and not want to forget these children without a place. I imagine a hundred reasons for them to be where they are this morning…and none of those reasons are happy. None of those stories include comfort and communication.

And I have compassion for every parent who does or doesn’t know where it all went wrong; who is lying awake this morning wondering where their child is in this cold dawn.

I have compassion for all of the hurt and anger and emotional and physical damage that has fractured the framework of these families and sent the shattered pieces out into the world.

I pray for redemption for all of us who make mistakes that cannot be easily rectified. I pray for healing for every generation. And I’m going to be more aware of ways in which I can help.

Here is what’s going on in my area: Maslow Project. Click to read more or get ideas.



  1. I could sense your heart as you saw those young ones camping out so early in the day. I believe one of the hardest things to bear and witness is to see the young suffer – be it from neglect, poverty, homelessness, lack of parental support and love. And for those of us who see and are stirred to compassion, it becomes a responsibility. Thank you for your care and concern. We need so much more folks like you in the world. Sharon


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