2.07.2006

Identity

I pulled up to the Children's Home today with my beat up truck. I was 4 minutes late. "Chris" was standing on the porch, alone, with a quite depressed look on his face. I've never seen a kid jump so high - he leaped off the porch, and came running to meet me at the truck.

"Is this your truck?" he said, enthusiastically. "It's awesome!"
Pause for a moment with me and imagine my vehicle. It has served me well. I am grateful to have received it. It gets me from point "A" to point "B", but the word "awesome" has never even crossed my mind when considering how to describe my faithful mode of transportation. The front end is smashed, the dash lights are broken, the back is almost rusted out, and the ceiling liner often falls down just enough to remind me that I need a haircut.
But for Chris, it was awesome. It was awesome that I even have a car to drive. It was awesome to him that I had used the car to meet him today.

Chris and I are starting a new journey together. I'm going to visit him for 1/2 hour a month -- to give him guitar lessons. I expected to walk in and minister to him, but everything about this encounter changed me today. He lives with other boys - most of them would drive me nuts if we spent 2 hours together. He has no posters on his bedroom walls. The music he's listening to is about 10 years old. The only adults in his world are the people who are paid by the government to take care of him. But what impacted me the most were the questions he asked:
  • Jake, since you're my mentor - that sort of means that we're friends, right? Can we be friends?
  • Will you tell your other friends about me, Jake ... will you tell them that you have a new friend?
  • Here, take this guitar strap. Will you wear it to the concert on Friday? Will you tell them I gave it to you? Say my name, please. Tell them who gave it to you.
  • Will you sing "God of Wonders" on Friday? Will you tell them that I requested it, because we're friends now ... and we hang out so you let me request a song from the band?
As he asked these questions, I realized that his basic human need is not met. Chris longs for someone to give him identity. He needs to know that he is loved. His heart is restless. His mind is confused. He's lacking a very basic component that our hearts were made to desire. I'm looking forward to our next meeting together, but not nearly as much as he is.

And it puts all my prayers (wants, desires, needs) in perspective. What could I possibly need that God has not already provided? Thank you Jesus, that I am loved by You. Help me show Chris how much You love him.

By the way. YFC is seeking Children's Home mentors. Please ... please ... please. Will you adopt a kid? It's not rocket science - you just show up. 1 hour a month isn't that much time out of our schedule - but it's what kids like Chris look forward to all month. If you can help, email my friend Linda (lthomas@yfcpa.org)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an amazing truth that all of us know (or are realizing) but such an insignificant situation (such as the one you just re-told) can remind us of when we so often forget.

Thanks for reminder,
Kim Larson

Anonymous said...

It's amazing what happens when you grow into a person who shares the heart of Christ. Thanks for the encouragment!

dgb

Anonymous said...

You know the funny thing is, we get so wrapped up in our own "life" we forget to take time to appreciate what really matters...

Eye openers are always appreciated in my book. Thanks for the one today.


Lacey :-)

jdb said...

I was wrong ... I just found out that mentoring a kid takes 2 hours a month. Still, it's not much. Sorry for messing that up.

Right now