And then there was the little girl in pink.
I never saw her face. She was in the front row, right beside the hyper kid in the Bears fleece vest who definitely got all the chuckles from the congregation.
But she stood there, her head looking straight down at her tennis-shoed toes and her hands in her tiny pockets and her silky blond hair falling covering any facial expression that might reveal her heart. And she didn't move a muscle the entire song.
After the song she slowly moved down the steps, slower than anyone else in the group, and she wiped obvious tears from her eyes, head still down.
My heart just ached. I couldn't help but wonder what had happened in the few minutes before an obviously well-rehearsed performance that would make her feel so seemingly invisible. It was almost like she didn't think we could see her because she wasn't looking at us. Like she wanted the floor to open up and swallow her. Like perhaps, it already had.
After the song, the kids gathered for the children's sermon and she had her back to pastor, continuing to dry her tears with her little pink shirt. I had all I could do to not run down there from my perch in the balcony and whisk her in my arms, stroke her hair, and tell her how much He loves her. To tell her that nothing will separate her from His love. To tell her that yes, everything will turn out all right.
But obviously her parent(s) were somewhere in the congregation - she didn't get there by herself, and it certainly wouldn't be appropriate to do anything at that point, because perhaps her mother was thinking the same thing. I just prayed that she had a loving embrace waiting for her.
I looked for her after church and never found her. I wanted to tell her how pretty she is and how much Jesus loves her. That she can be a princess or a ballerina or anything she wants to be. But I never saw her again.
My heart still breaks that little hearts break and don't understand why.
I left church praying that the rest of her day goes better and that she feels some comforting arms around her.
We have all at one time been that little girl in pink.
I hope the next time I see her, her eyes are focused upward.
Will you pray for her with me?
Tea today: Republic of Tea Beginners Mind