She walks in with a tight smile on her face. Her hair is flipping behind her in her hurry. I can tell it hurts to smile but she longs for some fun. She wants to feel happy again even for a moment.
The shadows in her yes haunt me. I wonder what or who has hurt her this time. What thoughtless actions or spoken words have made her feel less this time? Was it one of her parents or a sibling? Was it a friend or extended family member? How can I get her to talk about it?
We talk together and stumble through different topics. She says all the right things. But many questions are answered the same. Fine. Okay. There are few details.
What gift can I give this child? Can I give her a hug from her mom or her dad? Can I give her words of praise or just a simple “I love you for who you are”? She doesn’t even trust that I know her.
I will tell her that I love her. I will show her that I love her. I will tell her there is nothing she can do that will change that love.
I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. God shows me when I do wrong and I apologize and ask forgiveness. It is better to be honest about what is really happening that to stuff feelings of hurt and anger that will turn to depression. Help me God for this person.
I want to focus on how much God loves her and give her hope. I don’t want to focus on the choices she is making to escape from her unhappy life.
I want to give her good memories but also a firm foundation. I don’t want to make her feel more guilt or shame. She is buried in it already.
Who is this child? She is everyone. I look around me. I open my eyes to see. God says, “Help me reach out to the hurting.” I will start at home with my children, my spouse, my parents and special friends. Then I will reach out to those I know and some I don’t know.
This is a time of renewal, of faith and hope. It is resurrection week. But for many it is a renewal of pain and shame. I want to be used by God to spread hope and love. I want to spread this deep-seated knowledge: Someone loves me and it is not just God.
I am loved.
I am worthy of love.
I can be happy.
There are people I can trust.
I can trust God.
I am His.
Hebrews 11:1-2The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.