Counterfeit Complete

by | Oct 11, 2022 | Houseparent Blog | 0 comments

Often, in House-parenting, one finds themselves saying things they wouldn’t normally say. A combination of words you never imagined to hear used consecutively, and probably never will again. For example:  

 “Sit down and eat your lunch. No one needs to listen to your spaghetti,” is one of these sentences for me. The Littlest One was so enthralled with the noise her spaghetti made as she wound it around her fork and she wanted everyone to hear how amazing it sounded so she lugged it around the table holding it up to everyone’s ear. 

 Another one of these sentences, I said just this week. It was: “As useful as a hand drawn Mona Lisa.” 

 Y’all, I cannot speak for you but I. Cannot. Draw. At all. When I was a child I drew the same picture all the time. I am pretty sure, looking back on it, it was because it was the only thing I could draw: a house, on a hill; a path up to the front door, a swingset on the lawn with some stick figure kids playing – a sun and some birds and a tree. Every. Time. 

(Artists rendering of childhood drawing, on scrap paper, in graphite, 2022) 

You can imagine how wonderful my Mona Lisa would be. I will draw you one and we can include it here, for comic relief.  

(Mona Lisa, on scrap paper, in graphite, 2022) 

Regardless of my artistic skill, more to the point is – why did I say that sentence at all?  

 I was explaining the concept of counterfeits to one of the girls. The discussion began with us talking about ways we try to fill in the voids in our lives. For example, how we might use others’ acceptance of us to find our identity when really, the only reliable source to build a foundation for who we are is our Creator, God.  

 The exact phrase being considered was “fake counterfeits”. But, how do you have a fake fake?  

 By hand drawing the Mona Lisa.  

 I asked Chloe, “If I hand draw the Mona Lisa and then use it to replace the real one, do you think anyone would notice?” She giggled. She LAUGHED at me, and then said, “Yes!” “Not only is it not the real thing,” I said, “it is OBVIOUSLY not the real thing.” It’s not even a good counterfeit. It’s a knock off of a knock off;  like taking Monopoly money to the bank. I explained to her that trying to fill the voids we feel without God was “as useful as a hand drawn Mona Lisa.” and while this is funny, the result is clear – if it doesn’t do what we need it to do, then it doesn’t do what we need it to do so why do it? (Temporary fixes are not long term solutions). No one will believe it is the real deal and eventually – like the emperor’s new clothes – someone will say something. Or something will happen. And the void will grow and the hollow space within causes a collapse. 

 But what if we could reach people before that happened? If we stop “avoiding the void” and address it? Sure it up before things crumble? That is one of the many things we pray for and strive to do for our kids here at Joy Ranch. Reaching into the empty  places and restoring them before they reach out and ruin lives, hearts, souls and minds. 

 We know that what we focus on grows. We imitate what we idolize. We become like those we hang out with. So, let’s fill our lives and hearts and souls and minds with things that glorify God. Things that reflect him.  

 This has been the cry of my heart lately. That people would think of me less. I worry about what others think about something I said or did, or the awkwardness of my conversation skills (It’s true y’all.). But what if people didn’t think of me at all, or even notice me? What if I live as a mirror and all I do points others to God. What a beautiful world we could create if we all allowed our own wounds to be healed (in whatever way that needs to happen) so that we could answer the cries of the wounded. Difficult? Absolutely. But if we don’t? Even more difficult.  

 May this be the cry of your heart, and may you fill your life with others who do this for you. And as you do, please pray for those around you, including your family here at Joy Ranch as we seek to be “. . . a place of refuge” for His children (Psalms 14:26) helping to heal wounds and hearts and souls and minds so that they may be whole. 


(Chloe at the beach, 2022)

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