Tonight I had the pleasure of spending a class with the 4th and 5th graders of Capitol Hill Church of Christ, an inner (way inner) city mission church. I have to say my white bread, spoon fed, silver platter view of my bubble was challenged. I have seen the “ghetto” and even been quite comfortable with those inside it (my kids father lives there) but I had not seen the inner city as anything different from the ghetto. It is. Here’s why…
three out of the 7 kids asked for prayers for death, “bad things” parents were doing and loss. One girl came in with fresh tears, later I found out she had gotten in trouble in school for asking a boy to sleep with her (she’s nine) and she said her mother “beat her up”, she had marks on her arms and legs, and a red scrape on her face. She spent the class with the female teacher talking, begging her not to call CPS on her mother because she hated foster care. A boy I talked with said that he was trying to get his dad to stops doing bad things, he kept asking me to color with him, he wanted to talk and watch me color.
WTF is up with parents?? I mean, I have lost my tempter and yelled too loudly, spanked the toosh, been a insensitive parent while hearing the story of the wierd kid in school for the 5th time, oh yeah and had those days where I feel like a complete douche bag parent! BUT… I have never beaten my children.
So again, WTF is up with parents? I know the economy, no jobs, feeding the family and deadbeats to deal with but, i was just broken for these little hearts that are SCREAMING and literary jumping up and down and doing cartwheels for someone to just sit down with them and be interested in their voice.
MY HEART IS SCREAMING for these kids and at the same time I am so totally freaked out and scared of these kids. Scared about their germs, their unkept clothing, their parents who lash out at the world and teachers, worried that their primary school gangs are going to run after me, scared that they will get my attention and call me for everything they need, worried that I might actually fall into their hell and not be able to get out without turning it into something resembling life.
These kids need something more than a prayer and a bible story. They need a friend, stability, balance, understanding, ears that listen to them, a soft place to land, a blank page to vent out all the BS they deal with daily! Then and ONLY then are they going to be able to hear that bible story you are pushing. Because to them, God is absent, he is a fable, a myth, a hope for and a never seen, God is something that is mentioned when a mom yells or a dad stumbles into the table after being drunk all day, God is not a savior, that 15 yr old kid that offers them a 500 dollar bonus for selling the bag of rocks he has and another 1000 when he sells two more – that is his savior because he can feed their family and turn the lights back on and get their moms next drink so she will wake up and act like a mom for a couple of hours. THAT is THEIR CLASS.
So now what? All these ideas are running though my mind. Run in there and save the day, bring the passion from my side of the tracks to theirs, show them God, show them God? What God, the one that allows me a college education with a price tag of 100k, or the God that kept me from being engulfed in the gang lifestyle and the God that delivered me from a promiscuous life, that let me live when others are dying of addiction? That is not their God. I want to go into that classroom and change everything, bring videos and media and songs and worship. I want to meet with directors and suggest tons of things. Nope. Just love. Not force, just love.
What are your thought?? Be honest!