2 days later.
I glanced at my watch. 8:00 PM. “Children! Please gather in the living room! It’s Family Sharing Time!” I called out the back door. A smile swept across my face as I saw the children racing across our large backyard. They clattered up the porch steps and collapsed into various sofas, flushed and laughing. “I like Family Sharing Time! It’s one of my favourite parts of the day!” Sheba bubbled. “You know why?”
“Maybe it’s ‘cause you can talk all you want with no one to interrupt you.” Caleb teased. Sheba gave a pretty pout. “Are we ready to begin? Where’s Tara?” my husband asked. My smile faded. Tara was still up in her room. In fact, she had spent most of the last two days in her room. She had done all the extra chores we had assigned to her, albeit sullenly. But though we tried to get her to open up to us, she remained aloof. Theo, on the other hand, seemed to be adjusting well. Though he did avoid any and all discussions about God.
“I’ll call her. You guys can start without us.” I said, starting towards the stairs. “God, I feel like we’re in over our heads here. I know that I felt Your leading in fostering the twins, but I don’t know . . . I don’t know how to reach them for you.” I stopped outside Tara’s door and took a deep breath. “We need Your help. You were the One who made the twins; You know them inside and out. And You’ve called us to be there for them. So help us to reflect Your character. And lead them back to You.”
“I’m going to win them back. I will lead them into the desert. I will speak tenderly to them.” I recognized the words. They were from Hosea 2:14. Goosebumps rippled across my skin. My eyes filled with tears. “Thank You, God! I really needed that encouragement.” Peace engulfed me as I rapped on the door. To my surprise, it slowly swung open. “What?” Tara leaned against the doorframe and crossed her arms. “We’re having Family Sharing Time now. Would you like to join us?” “Fine.” she huffed. I sent a silent word of thanks up to God as she followed me down the stairs.
“Welcome, Tara! We were just sharing one good thing about our day.” My husband announced. “Would you like to go next?” “The best thing about my day was that you guys didn’t ask me many questions.” She answered wryly. I had to chuckle.”Well, one good thing about my day was seeing you children having fun. And hearing your laughter. The world is a depressing place, so it is always great to enjoy the little things.” I beamed at the family. “True.” My husband agreed. “That’s similar to what my lesson study says,” Elisha spoke up.”There is nothing better for people to do than to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in their work. I saw that even this comes from the hand of God. Ecclesiastes 2:24.” “I agree. But now that Jesus has come, we have an extra mission. We serve Him and tell others about Him too. We have an even greater reason to be joyful; this life isn’t all we have. Because Jesus died for us, we can live forever! Doesn’t that make you so excited?” I exclaimed. I noticed the twins shifting uncomfortably.
“Yeah!” Sheba giggled. “Oh! Tomorrow’s Saturday! We’re going to church. Are you guys coming?” She glanced at the twins. “Nah,” Theo said. “Why not?” “We don’t believe in God.” Theo stood. “Why don’t you?”
Theo stiffened. His hands fisted. “Uh, oh.” I thought. He spun around face red. “Why? ‘Cause He’s not real! What kind of God would kill someone’s parents right in front of their eyes! What kind of God would let kids be dumped in one foster home after another ’cause no one wants them! Why does He allow so much bad stuff in the world? Because He’s not real! There is no God!” Theo roared.
I felt like the breath had been knocked out of my lungs. Sheba’s jaw dropped. Elisha trembled. Even Tara seemed a bit pale. “Look, I just don’t wanna hear about God again,” Theo mumbled. He slammed out the front door. Then Tara slipped away. There was a thick silence, so thick that it was almost tangible. “Well . . . I guess we’ve got more things to pray about.” I breathed.