I’m thinking about this verse a lot and what it really means.
As I sat this week holding Chorlin while she wept. So much pain.
As I gave Anyeli a message of love and a commitment from myself.
As I reassured Gerald how much I love him – that he’s special to me, because he was upset and needed to hear it.
Ana wanted to be sure that I loved all the kids the same and I don’t have favorites.
Breaking up fights and seeing the hurt and pain in the two boys’ eyes.
The pain these kids go through, the needs they each have is overwhelming. It’s so far beyond what I can do as just one person. Just the needs of my own four boys is beyond me. I can’t do it.
And so I worry – am I setting myself up to fail and let these kids down? Will I be able to be the friend that they need? Am I making promises I can’t keep? By getting this close will I end up just hurting them?
The bottom line question: Is this relational approach to ministry really the way we should go? Maybe we should just back up a little, not get so close, just teach a message, keep it safe?
I voiced these thoughts and fears to Scott last night. We talked about it and then we sat and reminisced about people in our lives who impacted us as children.
The teacher who believed in us, the adult who saw something special and called it out. The people we remember who helped spur us on in our development were the ones who got close enough to touch our hearts.
It’s scary. It’s risky. It’s messy. There are no guarantees and success is hard to measure.
But focusing on relationship, spending time, pouring our lives into the children, it is what God is asking us to do. To tangibly teach, share and demonstrate his love, day in and day out, patiently, consistently, without fail, whether we’re embraced or spit on, told we’re fools or fall on our faces.
“Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.” 1 Peter 4:7