Who Will Take Care Of the Little Boy?
I have said many times over the last 15+ years, “I believe God works in themes in my life.” As I pay attention to life, I just keep experiencing the same types of things for periods of time. Sometimes it is multiple themes God has placed in front of me, and sometimes it is a single intense theme.
Over the last couple of years or so, I keep experiencing the theme of taking care of the little boy in me. In fact, just the other night my wife and I ran across and watched the movie Antwone Fisher on TV. This is such a great story about how the little boy inside needs to be taken care of by the man. One scene stood out as I watched this time. It is a scene where Antwone has given his assigned Navy therapist a poem he had written (you can watch the scene Here).
I have printed the words below:
Who Will Cry for the Little Boy?
Who will cry for the little boy, lost and all alone?
Who will cry for the little boy, abandoned without his own?
Who will cry for the little boy? He cried himself to sleep.
Who will cry for the little boy? He never had for keeps.
Who will cry for the little boy? He walked the burning sand.
Who will cry for the little boy? The boy inside the man.
Who will cry for the little boy? Who knows well the hurt and pain.
Who will cry for the little boy? He died and died again.
Who will cry for the little boy? A good boy he tried to be.
Who will cry for the little boy, who cries inside of me?
His therapist then asks, “Who will cry for the little boy, Antwone?” Antwone replies, “I will. I always do.” Wow, he gets it! The only one who can take care of the little boy inside the man … is the man.
For so much of my life, I tried to take care of the hurt little boy inside me through others. I looked for affection in others. I looked for affirmation in others. I looked for approval in others. All of these things are good except when I begin to use them to take care of the little boy. I begin to suck the life out of others which in turn pushes them away. At that point, my little boy feels even more rejected. So, I repeat the process. John Bradshaw, in his book, Healing the Shame that Binds You notes (and I am paraphrasing) that if children do not get a healthy sense of narcissism in their upbringing, then they will act it out as adults.
This changed once I learned that I take care of the little boy inside me. God takes care of the adult me. He gives the adult me the power and wisdom to take care of the little boy inside me. There is a power that is God-given at work within me (Ephesians 3:20) that I can access to take care of the little boy in me. I was able to see a reflection of this in my son recently.
Now, I feel like we have done a generally good job raising children. However, all parents have some trial and error situations with their children. We did good raising kids but, we were not perfect. Our son is now in his early 20s. All his life, I have been in Christian education. Because of the lower salary of my profession, my wife has worked outside the home his whole life as well. On top of this, my son attended the Christian school where I work alongside a large number of children from affluent families. He has been well-provided for, but we were not able to afford all the different little things that many of his classmates received growing up. He has had to work jobs in the summers and sometimes during school. Over the last couple of years, his work has afforded him some spending money and he has begun to buy little things for himself, when he should be saving for his college spending.
We recently had a discussion around the little things he is spending his money on. In that conversation, it dawned on me that he is taking care of the little boy who did not get those things like his friends had. I pointed this observation out to him. I even took it a step further and presented that it is possible that a message he carried from his mom and I might be that he is not very important. He pushed back on that notion for a minute. I pointed out that he was pushing back from the 20-year-old version who understands that we could not afford all those things at that time. The 6-year-old version of him would not have the ability to understand this. It was a tender moment for us as he realized how he was taking care of his little boy inside him.
Each of us has a little boy inside us that may still not understand what was going on as a wound was being formed. As I noted Bradshaw, we may have not been afforded the right amount of narcissism and are acting it now in our lives. There are times where I have to stop amidst a difficult emotional situation and ask myself, “What does my little boy want or need right now?” As soon as possible, I move toward taking care of the little boy. Just me … no sucking life out of others.
- What might the little boy in you want or need?
- Will you be willing to grieve for the little boy?
- Are you willing to take care of the little boy inside of you?
I’ll conclude by leaving a link to Mercy Me’s song, Dear Younger Me…which by the way, was one more indicator of this theme God is revealing in my life.
– By Byron Myers
Byron completed his initial Crucible weekend in 2009. His deepest desire is to help people believe in their God-given goodness and live lives of integrity, authenticity and feel loved and accepted. Byron recently published his first ebook, Weekly Devotional Thoughts: Weekly Applications of God’s Word. Byron is the High School Principal at Midland Christian School in Midland, TX. Follow Byron at Weekly Devotional Thoughts.
Photo credit: Byron Myers