Once a week I work overnight while everyone else is sleeping. Usually around 4 or 5am I try to sleep a little bit, just so I am somewhat functional when the clients wake up and to drive home. There used to be a love seat in the office to sleep on. We used to call it the couch of death because it was pretty dirty and not quite long or wide enough to be that comfortable while sleeping. The office has recently been rearranged so there is no longer a love seat at all. So in order for me to get my one or two hours of sleep, I am either dozing in the chair at the desk or making myself a little bed on the floor of the office, which is covered in some pretty dirty and stained carpet. I have had conversations about how much it must suck for one to work overnight, not get sleep and all that. Recently it has been having little pity parties that I am stuck trying to sleep on the ground of a dirty office. While I get paid.
The other night while I got my two hours of sleep on the floor, with my head on a pillow and a blanket to cover myself with, a woman and her three children slept on the ground between a set of doors to try to stay warm and dry, less than 200 feet away from me. I honestly didn't know they were there and their mom had been asked to leave earlier that night due to her own actions. But what gets to me is that her children did nothing to cause the situation. They are just along for the ride. At work I often talk to women who say they have no place to go and X children under the age of 9. Sometimes they are staying on a friend's couch and can't stay there anymore. Sometimes they are living in a car, if the mom is lucky enough to have a car. Most of the women I talk to don't have a car, family, or resources. At least once a shift I tell someone that I can't help them and I try to give them names of other places to go, which is often pointless since they have no car or money, therefor no way to get there.
This time it was different. These weren't random kids , just concepts, ideas of people. These were three young, loving, affectionate children that I had already spent time with. I could name something special and unique about each one of them. I only met the one little girl once but when I did, she nearly knocked me over with a hug. I can picture their faces and voices when I think about the fact that they were sleeping on the ground, probably using their mom as a pillow, with no blankets or anything.
I can't get them out of my head. I feel like my soul is writhing. Every part of my inside is constantly trying to cry out to God to protect them, comfort them, help them, keep them warm and safe. I beg God to provide a place for them to sleep, to guide their mother in making good decisions, to just make it better. I don't know what else to do because there is nothing else that I personally can do. I just need to figure out why I feel so strongly moved to action and what that action is.
Meanwhile, while we look at houses to move into, being tempted to buy bigger and better. When I get PAID to sleep on the floor, with bed to come home to, I will think of them. I will keep my pride in check and be grateful for what I have and be happy for enough.