Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Question Everyone's Asking.

Last week I was at work making sure that the boys were getting ready for bed, one boy walked out of the bathroom and paused a second.
"Miss, I ugly?"
I was a bit taken aback, and said "nooo!"
"I'm not?" He asked still not convinced. "Then I'm good looking?"
"Yes." I smiled and nodded.
"Okay," he quietly said as he ducked into his bedroom.
I was a little bothered by the fact that he was concerned about that. But continued with my paperwork.
Not even five minutes later one of the other boys who had climbed up on his bunk-bed said, "Miss, am I happy...or am I dumb?" This boy has recently arrived and doesn't really know how to read or write. He's very happy always laughing. The boys sometimes make fun of him and tell him that he's stupid. Well, apparently this did bother the young man...even though he pretends it doesn't.
I told him that he was not dumb.
He somberly nodded and continued listening to his music.

Then I started thinking, these are both very good-looking, happy guys who make friends easily. Maybe he didn't really want to know if he was happy or dumb. Maybe the other boy wasn't fishing for a compliment. Maybe what they want to know--what we all want to know is, "Am I okay?" "Am I acceptable to you?" "Do you like me?" Well...maybe we want reassurance that we're not stupid or ugly either. But we care about what others think of us.
So you better believe that we are going to be exploring this deeper issue that is affecting these young men, and me, and probably everyone else I know...

Fortunately we can know that we ARE okay because we're made in the image of God. Not that we look like Him physically, and a lot of us don't even act like Him sometimes...but He made us. Here's what The Good Book says:

God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.
God blessed them...
(Genesis 1:27-28A.)

And then it goes on to say,

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.
Genesis 1:31 (emphasis mine).

My former pastor preached a series one time on 'people in the image of God'. He reminded us that the way we treat people should be pleasing to God. Because WE are made in God's image, but the people we are interacting with are made in God's image too. So...basically we have no excuse for disrespecting anyone. Ever.

So Dear Friends, I'll leave you with one last [obvious] thought:
We are okay... We're better than okay.
We are "very good". In fact it seems to imply that we are pleasing to God. It's like when you finish making something, and you get that satisfaction that you have outdone yourself...I kinda think that might be how God felt as he looked at us.

Friday, May 15, 2009

a Million Pieces [kinda like confetti].

In two years over 400 boys have passed through the shelter where I work. I've worked there about a month and probably about 20 boys have already [come and] gone.

It makes me kinda sad to think about all of "my kids" all over the world. It's not like I'll see them again, or be able to stay in contact with them. *Just part of my job.

So I thought about how God puts different people in our lives, and although we HOPE to touch their lives, they always touch ours. I know God has put me here, and so for the good and... hard days I know that I want to try my very best to touch and be touched by them.

I hear a lot of funny things, have some hard conversations and see some incredible changes in these kids.

So my heart will be all over the world once these kids leave with it (not to mention all the people I've been touched by in Ohio, Bolivia, and Mexico too) but little pieces of them will stick with me forever too.