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Ready or Not

By Shari Crall

I recently had to place a child. In an effort to avoid moving this child to our large shelter, I scrambled to find a family that could welcome this little one in a matter of days. Getting the list of approved families, I began reading home studies, consulting with the placement committee, and making calls.

I called one – ironically, she said, she had just hung up from a call with her sister who was in labor. She needed to go care for her nieces and nephew. She felt, however, she could be prepared within the few days window. The days progressed, the birth had been complicated, and her sister needed more help. She could not take the child. Another cut me off before I even told them about the child, saying they were remodeling their house and it was torn up. They could not take a child right now. Another said she had just allowed a friend’s young adult daughter to move into a room in the house and the woman had not gone through our background check – we began to figure a fast track to make that happen, but it depended on her roomer quickly coming to our office. She didn’t.

These were all families who had gone through an arduous process to provide adoptive placements to children in foster care. They had gone through classes, intensive interviews, background checks, and reference checks. They had set aside space and bought furniture. They were committed,  diligent, motivated, and all had declared their homes available on an emergency basis to take a child in.

The days ticked down. Then the woman with the new roomer called. She asked if it would help if the young roomer moved out until her background check could be completed? Yes. Yes, I said. That would make the difference. Then we could place the child with her. That is what she would do then, she said.

Matthew 8:21 and Luke 9:59, Come, follow me – Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  Luke 14:15-20 – the invitation to the supper – I just bought some land and I need to attend to it, I just bought some oxen, I need to prove them, I just married a wife, and I can’t come.

I never understood those scriptures. They seemed harsh and unyielding. The people were coming, they just had to do something first – something really important. The day the woman called, clearing her house for the little one, those scriptures came to mind. So that’s how it is. That is how it is with the Savior sometimes, to do His work, to be His people, to follow him. There is a time when the situation does not allow delay, when the matter is pressing.

I have been thinking since, am I really available? Am I really interested or willing? When the thief comes in the night, I feel pretty good I would be found in the right place – at church, in prayer, reading my scriptures. But if the question is actually, will I respond? Will I clear a house or a schedule or an opinion? That is another question entirely.

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

About Shari Crall

Shari Crall is a native of the Chicago suburbs. She has lived her adult life in Southern California where she raised four children with her husband Chris. She recently retired from a career in social work. She holds a BA in political science from BYU and an MSW from SDSU. She spent over a decade writing a column for her local newspaper, titled The Crall Space. She has blogged for Segullah for several years and been published in LDS outlets like Exponent II, a BYU Women's Conference collection, and most recently in Living on the Inside of the Edge by author Christian Kimball.

3 thoughts on “Ready or Not”

  1. Yes, it is another question entirely. There are times I don't want to do ministering, or my calling, or anymore cooking and setting up for activities in our ward in which the emphasis is on the few who do much. These are just every day things that I struggle to comply with sometimes because I just don't feel like it. Clearly I need to learn to be more willing, more able, and more gracious about what I do. I do know this but sometimes I feel put upon by others who do so little year after year. Anyway, that is my problem not yours. Thank you for post that has given me much to think about.

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  2. Thank you so much for this post. I have been thinking about this post and associated complications of being prepared, being ready. Am I ready? I don't feel like it. But my arms are open and I am trying. I'll be pondering this all day.

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