Do You Have A Coat Hanger?
The judge called and asked if there was any way that the children’s home could find room that day for a family of three girls and two boys. He explained that the father had been killed a couple of years earlier and the mother was on trial that day for her third DUI and she was going to have to go to jail. If he placed them in state custody they could not assure him that the family could be kept together and he strongly believed that in this case it was important to all of them to remain in contact. I assured him that we would make it happen and went with one of our social workers to the office of a pastor where he had arranged for the children to be kept on a temporary basis.
As the social worker interview each child I tried to keep the others entertained and to assure them as terrible as all of this seemed I believe that they would discover that it was not going to be as bad as their fears. I asked if they had any question they wanted to ask me and the smallest boy wanted to know if we had any coat hangers.
Now I expected to be asked about TV’s, computers, ball equipment and a hundred other things but never a coat hanger. So I said, “I am not sure I understood you, can you ask that again?” Once again he asked if we had any coat hangers. I asked him why a coat hanger was important and he said, “I have always wanted a coat hanger. When I go to my friend’s house his mother takes my coat and puts it on a coat hanger and then hangs it in a special place. At my house we just throw our coats in the floor and sometimes I use mine for cover, so I would like my own coat hanger.
I smiled, hugged him and said, “Son you have died and gone to coat hanger heaven for we have hundreds of coat hanger and I will be sure that you have several of your own as well as a closet to hang them in.” He smiled, rubbed back the tears and hugged my neck. Most of us have such long list of our wants and here was a small boy being taken from his home and all he asked for was a coat hanger. Little children shall lead them and this boy did exactly that, God has been so faithful to provide a ministry like The Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes for families who reach that moment when the uphill climb is too great even for the little engine who says ‘I think I can.’ Without any tax payer money they reach out and embrace these hurting families with their loving arms and God’s great grace.