Monday, May 20, 2013
Hey There Mister Tough Guy
Landing back here was like coming home: the sights, the sounds, the smells, the laughters, the friendships so much is the same, but so much more has changed. Life seems pretty typical here almost as if I were made for this job. Prepare the missions house, love people, serve God that's what my life is all about right now. What sounds like a simple job description can be much more trying than I could have ever truly imagined. Today was my first day back in the Government Housing Community I will be calling home for the next few months and what I saw upon my return hit a place in my heart that hasn't been stirred in months. The hatred that has hardened these kids heart is deeper than any emotion or pain that I personally have ever felt. An attempt to hug a child was met by a smack in the face, the eyes set on the face of a six year old child looked back at you with wisdom and pain wise beyond their years, "I love you's" was retaliated with harsh and piercing "I hate you's". Sitting in the gym with thirty people (completely overwhelmed) I was watching the basketball games and dance parties when a fight broke out among some of the middle school boys. I have never seen fist thrown with such vigor nor have I seen such looks of intense hatred in ones eyes as they looked at another human. Myself and a few of the workers rushed to break up the fight and (fortunately) the physical damage was rather minor, but what really caught my eye was the boy involved. He walked away, tears in his eyes, but trying his best to fight them back-holding on to his pride with everything he had. I wanted to take him into my arms and explain to him "you don't always have to be the tough guy" or maybe "it's ok to cry" anything to ease the pain-a pain that wasn't caused by a few swings in a gym but rather a pain that was caused by years of having to be that tough guy to fit in around a neighborhood where that was not just the norm, but the expectation. Why am I here? The question crossed my mind more than once today: it crossed my mind when I was slapped, it crossed my mind when I was yelled at, it crossed my arm when I was ignored-but the resounding answer from my Savior crossed my mind even more "Because, when you "slapp", yell, and ignore me I still love you." I am here for a purpose, to love these kids and their parents, and let them know they have not been forgotten. I go through my life sinning ("slapping" God in the face), I yell at God with my actions when I diliberately walk the other way, I ignore him constantly-forgetting to say thank you for blessings and little things that bring happiness along the way. But, the amazing thing? He never says "Fine, I've had enough" and walks away; which is why I know that quitting is not an option for this summer. I have a mission and I have a purpose: to love unconditionally just to give these kids a little taste of the love and forgiveness that has been showered on me.