By Rosey Moreno-Jones
“Be men of courage. Be strong. Do everything with kindness and love”“Be men of courage. Be strong. Do everything with kindness and love” 1 Corinthians 16:13 – 14
Recently, I read a Facebook post by one of our wonderful foster moms who was having a particularly tough day (and night!) with a baby, who was especially distressed and needed the loving, comforting arms of a caring angel. The foster mother was that angel for the baby, but it was a long, tough night following a long, tough day. You see, earlier that day, she had an experience with a Basement Person, and it wore through her caring soul to the core – questioning her and her husband’s decision to foster. Pointing out that perhaps they were doing a disservice to their own family by taking in children in need, the conversation wounded her making her question her motives and efforts. The basement person attempted to drag her down into the murk and the mire where fellow basement people tend to live.
Reading the post hurt my heart, because I know this family well and was part of the process of recruiting and training them to become a foster family. I know their hearts and their motives. They are Balcony People, who like the Apostle Paul, encourage all those around them to be a light and to “follow me as I follow Christ.” Their perseverance on this journey enables them to be angels for our children in foster care. It is not always easy, and on this particularly trying day and night, these words of criticism coming from a friend were dampening their dreams of doing something wonderful for God!
I responded to her post by telling her, her arms and hands that soothed and comforted the distressed baby were God’s arms and hands, reminding her why she and her husband began this journey. In her book, Balcony People, Joyce Landorf Heatherly teaches us about balcony people and basement people. She reminds us, Jesus was the ultimate balcony person. She encourages us to surround ourselves with these folks who will support us, who will shower us with kindness, love and good advice. People who will remind us to “be men of courage, to be strong and to do everything we do with kindness and love.”
Landorf Heatherly says, balcony people are easy to spot – they love, they listen and they care. They encourage us to be Christ-like. Nothing could be more essential to our foster families than to be surrounded with balcony people. I would ask all of our wonderful foster families to take stock of the people around you. They may be friends or family, and perhaps they do not mean to hurt you or harm you, but words do hurt and words do harm. Remind these people of YOUR mission and YOUR choice to make a difference to God’s children who so desperately need YOU. In the event your words do not change the messages coming back to you, perhaps it is time to back away and surround yourself with other who will comfort and support YOU. In Hebrews 12:1 we are told to “run with patience (and perseverance) the race that is set before us.”
Our foster mother is going to be fine and so is the precious little babe, because dozens of her Facebook friends responded to her as I did. So, if you know a family who is fostering, please try to be balcony people to them. Be a light to them and lift them up to the tasks set before them. Fostering is not for everyone, but by encouraging those who are on this journey, you are as important to the mission as they are. Build them up and watch them bloom. Then, you will bloom also.
If you need encouragement or information about this journey, please feel free to contact me. I will be your balcony person today – I promise! God bless you all!
Rosey Moreno-Jones (352) 484-7247 firstname.lastname@example.org