A poor reflection---but a reflection nonetheless

Monday, January 1, 2018

Dear Friends:

Is there anything more heartbreaking than having your child tell you that he does not want to go to school, or church, or  camp,  because, “No one likes me”, or “Nobody will play with me”, “No one will be my friend” ?  I have heard these comments a few times from the boys in our home and it burdens me.  But today the youngest told me very quietly, softly and painfully that he did not want to go go school tomorrow because he had no friends and no one liked him.  He begged me to allow him to stay with me from now on.  It brought tears to my eyes to think how unkind children can be to children and how much I wanted to shield him from hurt.


I have watched the boys that are in my home literally wilt when adults casually accuse them of errors they did not make or did not mean to do. These little boys lack to cognitive skills to defend themselves or explain why they did what they did; so they simply give up and accept that they will never be trusted.


When they feel that they are under attack, the two younger ones run to me—wanting to bury their faces in my chest, or hide in my arms or to find shelter behind me.  Children are incredibly afraid of rejection, abandonment, or giving someone their trust and then having that trust broken. And my boys have carry these fears far more intensely than others. Now, more than any time in my life, I truly understand how important my life is for the emotional and developmental health of these young men.  I need to be here for them!


In truth I suppose that all of us are like these boys even in our adult lives. We’ve learned to mask our fears and call our sorrows by a different name, but we dread being disliked, ignored, having no friends—-of being alone and unnoticed.  In my own life, as a “mature adult”, I still struggle with the reality than some folks do not like me and never will; I know that no one really understands me or appreciates my good intentions;  ultimately I am alone in the world.  My boys struggle with these same things, but with me they have found someone that will not give up on them or ever abandon them. That’s what I once had in two loving parents—-and I still miss their touch, their words that gave me such hope and  confidence, their support, love and pride in me.  


But I have found in Jesus Christ all that I yearned for… and more. Yes, there are many days when I want to hid behind the shadow of God’s wings; there are days I need my Father to pick me up so that I can hide my face in His chest; at other times I need to listen to Him as He reminds me that I am the apple of His eye. 


For the time being, I hope that I am to these boys what God, through Jesus Christ, has become to me.  Soon I want to introduce them to a far better Father and Protector. Please remember all four of these young men in 2018 and pray that I might become the example to them of what God desires to be for them.





Dean Barley

The Vineyard


336 351 2070

919 368 8493 (Mobile)

The Vineyard


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