Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Meaning of Life

What is your passion? What motivates you to take action?

I have worked with kids since I was one myself, when I wrote and directed the Christmas pageant at my church back in seventh grade. I've been a coach, teacher, social worker, youth group leader, school psychologist, tutor, counselor, babysitter, and mentor. Without a doubt, my passion is to make life better for children and teens. I want to be the voice for those who are never heard because, well, they're just kids.

My heart breaks for kids/teens who are unwanted or unappreciated and I know so many who are. Some of them come from broken, abusive homes of drugs and poverty. Others come from working families where their parents are just too exhausted meeting basic needs to have emotional energy to spare. Still others come from wealthy families and have all that money can buy.

I try, to the best of my ability, to let these kids know I care. It sounds so simple and almost cliche, but it's true. The kids with whom I work now, I usually see no more than two hours each week. I feel helpless to make a change in their lives and prove to them that they are valuable. I wish I could tell them that I would do anything to give them the experience of being loved. I would heal their hurts if I could.

I do what I can. I joke with them, remember their stories, ask about them when they have been away, respect them, and listen when they talk. I share my faith through stories and lessons and answering their questions. Then I pray, because nothing else matters if they do not know Love. I pray that they will encounter Love and be transformed. Love will not erase what wrongs have been done to them, but will give them strength to heal and the knowledge that they were made for a purpose.

(Lest anyone be affronted that I did not name Jesus as my driving passion, allow me to clarify. My relationship with God and with those I love is not so much a passion as an inherent part of me. My faith is not what pierces my heart, it's why I even have a heart!)

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