A lack of hope and Jesus

colleen Blog, Ministry Leave a Comment

As laughter poured from the dinner table last night, and the Ravenu2019s game along with music was up as loud as it could go in my living room (typical teenagers), I reminded the kids that at 9 p.m. we were going to watch the Ferguson coverage. I half expected a bunch of whining that the game was on and they didnu2019t want to miss a play, but instead what I got was enlightening conversation from my teens, instead what I got was a group of kids that genuinely had strong opinions about what was happening, what I got was thought provoking questions.nnAs 9 p.m. rolled around and we pulled up the live coverage on my laptop because we all know that the Ravenu2019s game couldnu2019t be turned off, we watched as the verdict was announced, and I heard u201cOh no this means bad things are going to happen,u201d and u201cIu2019m sad for the family,u201d and u201cWhat does this mean for us?u201d And after the verdict was announced we continued to watch as chaos took over Ferguson, Mo. and as one of my teenagers declared, u201cWe need to pray for themu2026u201d I was reminded that we had not prayed for them and we did just that.nnAs we sat there I began to mull over the conversation that would take place and as I asked them what they thought about the situation I was greeted with responses like, u201cItu2019s not fair for anyone, all we really know is what the media has shown us,u201d and u201cDid he really deserve to be shot 12 times?u201d and u201cWhy do all the black kids have to die?u201dnnAs I explained to them that I didnu2019t know the answers to their questions and that the media only likes to tell part of the story sometimes and other times they donu2019t know the other side of the story, and no he probably did not deserve to be shot twelve times, and I wish I could tell you why black kids keep dying, but I canu2019t. One of the boys reminded us that Pastor Tally told them that sometimes the decisions that we make put us in vulnerable situations.u00a0 They wondered if it was possible that Michael Brown wasnu2019t making the wisest choices for his life. As we continued to discuss the events that have taken place in Ferguson and all the media attention, they questioned why there is no media attention when their friends die, why no one is outraged that almost 200 people died in their city, that there are no famous people not even the mayor fighting for the lives of their friends.nnBut what impressed me even more about these teenagers that as they were piled around me snuggled up to the laptop watching a community of people destroy their community how angry they were that these people would do this. How upset they were that this community was lacking hope and Jesus, these kids that just a few months ago didnu2019t understand hope themselves, and most didnu2019t have a relationship Jesus or the understanding of a relationship with Jesus. What impressed me was how they wanted to pray for people they donu2019t even know, that they were concerned about a community of people theyu2019ve never met, that they wanted to pray not only for the community but for the family of both Michael Brown and Officer Wilson, I was impressed with their empathy for others. Tonight as a few of those same kids sat around my dinner table drinking milk and eating cookies we talked about the events that unfolded in Ferguson after we went to bed they continued to ask why, they continued to wonder when this would all come to an end, they wondered how this would affect their lives, we talked about the riots that happened long before any of us (including me) were born, one of the girls said I wonder what Martin Luther King Jr would say about this, I wonder what Jesus would say about this. Tonight as the night came to an end one of the boys told me about a sign he saw hanging in the barber shop with the Ghandi quote, u201cBe the change you wish to see in the world,u201d and they asked how they could change the world, and how they could start in their community and it could be as simple as picking up trash on our block.nnI am so sad about what is happening in the country right now, but I am excited for the positive change that is going to happen in my kids, I am excited about how this u201cstate of emergencyu201d has changed the hearts and thinking of some of my kids, I love that weu2019ve been able to have such a beautiful dialogue about the chain of events, that they have been so open about their feelings whether empathetic, frustrated, angry or confused. Tonight as I end my night with the kids and we all go our separate ways I pray that theyu2019ll continue to be empathetic to those without hope, that theyu2019ll continue to pray for those who they donu2019t even know, that this situation will continue to both outrage them, but push them to be the change they want.

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