Friday, September 21, 2012

My heart breaks silently as I hear them talk about the way they are being spoken to at school. Anger rises in me as I hear of teachers and guardians failing to listen, failing to stop the bullying. My reaction is the same as most peoples I know. How did it get to this? How did we become a society that lets this happen & when? When did the tables turn? When did it go from a mean word at lunchtime to full on harassment? Does it even matter? Is that even the right question? If I understood the why would that give me the solution? If I fully comprehended the problem, diagnosed it, understood it would that give me the solution? Would that help me equip and empower my girls? Would that be what puts the tools in their hands? Would that help them on monday morning when they are back at school and someone is lifting their skirt up and calling them names or chasing them around threatening to beat them up? Understanding the problem, is that really where the solution comes from...

Sometimes I think we are so focused on finding out the why & talking about the what that we fail to ask the right question... We get so focused on what is going wrong that we fail to see what we need to see. I don't know what we are missing but I can't help but think we are seriously missing something. And for me that something is important because tonight like every Friday night we will gather our youth, we will gather them to talk about life, about God, about being a young person, about who the word of God says they are. Tonight bullying will come up because it always does and tonight like every other Friday night we will talk about it, we will talk about grace and forgiveness and walking away. We will say all of the right things that everyone already knows but it's not enough!!

I know it and they know it.

It's not enough because Monday morning when they walk into the school grounds they aren't surrounded by people who love them, they aren't in a safe environment where they can relax and be themselves. A place where they are free to love and be loved. Come Monday morning they will step back into the reality of being bullied. Back into the reality of the constant names, the physical abuse, the war for their identity. Come Monday morning I can't protect them & the words I tell them on a Friday night will only take them so far... The simple fact is it is not enough and the saddest part of all is that for some of them the bullying won't wait until Monday morning, it will be there on Facebook waiting for them, it may even infringe on their time at youth. When I think about it I want to cry.

I see the faces of my beautiful girls. I see our young men. I see their potential. I see their open, kind, generous, hungry hearts. I see how precious they are, the contribution they could have in this world if only they knew. If only they knew who they were and how dearly they were loved. If only they knew fully and deeply their identity. I pray so hard that they get it, that one day something someone says just clicks and the door to who they are unlocks and the truth comes rushing out flooding them with love. I pray for opportunities to sow seeds of life, of truth. To be able to hold up a mirror and show them who God says they are and to have them get it. That's my wish, my wish is that they would know, they would know that they are precious, that they have purpose, that they are loved. That they would know it so deeply and fully that it would change the way they saw themselves and the people in their world. That it would change the way they loved. I just want them to know because knowing who you are changes your world.

Knowing who you are changes what you believe about yourself, about what you deserve. Knowing who you are allows you to listen to what someone says and know that it isn't true. It allows you to look at a choice in front of you and say that's not for me not because someone told me I shouldn't do it but because I know who I am and that's not me. Knowing who you are it changes everything, it changes what you accept, it changes where you go and what you do. When you know who you are you know where you're going and you make choices that help you get there. When you know who you are you know how to love that difficult person, how to see their own hurt in their words. I don't think knowing who they are is the fix it to bullying but I sure think it goes a long way to helping our young people face their Mondays..

So today I pray for people who are bold enough to speak identity and life and peace and truth and hope into our young people. I pray for people who will authentically seek out who they were created to be and model it, people who will take others on the journey. I pray for wisdom to ask the right questions and sow the right seeds. I pray for answers to questions I don't even understand. Today I pray for wisdom and strength, for peace and protection. Today I pray for our young people x

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