As a young mother with a four-year-old and a two-year-old, we had recently acquired my husband’s nephew who was almost eight. He had a troubled past with poor parents on drugs, unstable home, and separated from his half-siblings because of his medical condition. Foster families didn’t want his problems. He was insecure and afraid of doing things wrong, even to the point of lying, so we wouldn’t think badly of him.
Parents, even foster parents and step-parents need to know what’s going on with their children. Holy Spirit is not only exciting and leads us in fun-filled adventures, but He is extremely practical. Take the “Incident of the Bicycle.”
We had only had our nephew living with us for about four months when it was time to celebrate his eighth birthday. He had never had a birthday party before, and we did it up big with cake, ice cream, party favors and guests at Fairytale Town Castle, in Sacramento. He was so excited. He felt like a King. His favorite gift of all was a brand new, shiny bicycle.
How he loved that bicycle. He started with training wheels and soon, very soon was whizzing around the neighborhood. He washed it, polished it with a rag, kept it spotless. He and a group of boys would race over to the neighborhood park and bicycle for hours. He also liked to run errands for me with his new, shiny bicycle.
One day I asked if he would bicycle about four blocks to the local grocery store and pick up something for me. Sure thing! It gave him an opportunity to show off his shiny, new bicycle. He had been gone about a half hour, and I was busy with the never-ending list of housework and laundry. I remember I was in the middle of vacuuming the living room when suddenly Holy Spirit broke into my space with the words, “Lee has fallen off his bike.”
I immediately shut off the vacuum, “Oh, my. Is he OK? Should I go find him?” I was imagining all kinds of horrific scenarios.
“No,” came the reply. “You just need to know it happened. He’s OK.”
About 15 minutes later, Lee came in the house and didn’t say a word, just handed me the groceries and headed for his room.
“Lee, are you all right? Holy Spirit told me you fell off your bicycle.”
Immediately he burst into tears and exclaimed, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to. I lost control and fell over. Please don’t be mad.”
“Mad? Of course not, accidents happen. I just wanted to be sure you were all right. You are what matters, not the bicycle,” as I wrapped my arms around him, gave him a big hug and kissed him on top of the head. Holy Spirit had prepared me to have the right reaction.