Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Family: The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree!

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I was riding my bike home from a mentoring meeting the other day and had a moment that triggered a thought!  Let me give you the setting, the moment, and a challenge.
The setting:
I was on 40th Street, having just left the University Starbucks.  My mentoring meeting had gone very well.  I was excited by the conversation we had.  The young man I was meeting had shared his hearts desire of being a good husband, father, and child of God.  He had shared deeply about his father, himself, and his son.  His desire to be a good and godly father excited my soul.  I can already see the parents passion for Christ at work in their child.
The moment:
As I was riding, and thinking about the meeting I had just left... I noticed two young men walking toward me.  They were about 12 years old.  The one on the left caught my attention.  He had on dirty jeans, old sneakers, and a trashy looking tee-shirt.  He had a cigarette in his mouth, and an angry look on his face.  What grabbed me was his eyes.  They were filled with hate, anger, fear, and conflict.  As I smiled at him, he glared at me!  I smiled back harder, and sent out a happy "Hello."  All I got in response was a grunt.  And then came my thought!
What family did this young man come from?  What were his father, grandfather, and uncles like?  Did they take him fishing, boating, swimming, or bike riding?  Did they do family vacations?  Did they go to church, or Life Group?  Did they hold him at night, say their prayers, and tell him the great plans God had for him?  Did his parents coach him at soccer, cheer for him at Little League, and faithfully attend every back to school night?  Did they tell him they loved him every single day of his life?  If the eyes are truly the window of the soul then the answer to these questions was no!
There are entirely too many young people like the one I saw wandering the streets of San Bernardino looking for trouble.  We need to grab these kids, wrap our loving arms around them, and bring them into our Life Groups.  We must be the family they do not have.  We must pray the prayers and give the hugs that they do not now receive.  We must plant the word of God and the love of worship in their hearts.  We must show them a safe and happy place that gives their entire life a new point of reference.  We must tell them they are loved!  By the grace of God, and with His strength, we can do this!
I love you all,

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