top of page

I Was A Scruffy Little Kid

July 2022

Because my mom and dad both worked, I was on my own during vacation times from school. No one home to tell me what to eat, so I ate what I wanted! I can’t recall how many frozen orange juice containers I went through, but each and every one was consumed at one sitting.

Undoubtedly my parents would have been horrified to see what I looked like when I left the house. Don’t recall if I actually brushed my teeth or combed my hair. I suppose maybe I did. But who knows! I do remember wearing jeans that were just about gone! They were cut off at the knees and had been shredded into pieces hanging from the mid thigh down.

Once I left the house, I was on the look out for friends who could come out and play. When they were available, we would spend hours on the school yard playing football, or baseball or basketball. As there were no water fountains, and home was a few blocks away, we would drop to the ground and suck water out of the water sprinklers that were flush to the ground.

I walked miles and miles all over that neighborhood. The community pool was a mile away, and to get there one had to cross a major blvd. Though only about ten or eleven, I had learned to have enough sense to cross cautiously at the signal.

At the end of second grade I still couldn’t read. So for third grade, my parents put me in a Christian school that was about an hour ride away on public transportation from my home. I learned to read. And, I learned to walk and explore even more. My middle school was in the same area as where my dad used to drop me off to catch the public bus for the ride to the Christian school.

Many days I walked home from that middle school. A three or four mile jaunt! More often than not, I was forced to walk home because I had missed the bus, or there was a gang fight planned for the neighborhood around the school, and I wanted to avoid walking into it on my way to the bus.

We are all formed to one degree or another by our family, friends and circumstances. God was preserving my life in all of my “street” adventures. My parents were Godly people who loved Jesus and the church. My friends, chosen by circumstance, were good friends. The street travels were protected by the Spirit of God.

Now, many years on, I can look back and see the forming of all of this on my personality. As an only child. I was alone for many hours. I can remember throwing a tennis ball against our garage door for hours, practicing my best “pro” baseball pitches! I learned to be satisfied to be alone! How many hours have I spent alone on an airplane traveling to nations all over the world. It’s like walking the neighborhood or practicing my best “pro” pitches against the garage door.

If there were no friends available, I had to create my own entertainment. Once I learned to read, I spent hours reading….. comic books! I think that those comic books taught me to imagine, to dream. In later years, God the Spirit used that ability to imagine, to imagine nations won to Christ!

Silence was more often than not all around me. Parents gone to work. No brothers or sisters, and no dog. Now, as an adult, I find silence comfortable. With four children and twelve grandchildren, I have learned to appreciate the noise of relationships.

But, I can see the hand of God in the comfort of silence. It allows me to have lots of time with Him. It has allowed time to read and think and write. Disciplines one needs to be able to steward well if we are to lead others well.

Each of you are also being formed. By your patents. By your choice of friends. By the circumstances that God allows in your life. Think about each of these, then, allow God to build them into positives that He can use to bring glory to His name!!

bottom of page