I don’t claim to know everything. I don’t.
There is so much evil going on in the world around us that it is honestly mind-blowing.
The most recent school shooting made it almost unbearable to even drop my boys off at school and watch them walk away from me.
I have seen hundreds of differing views as a result of the horrific tragedy. Some screaming for gun reform, some pleading for people to do a better job diagnosing mental illness, others getting angry at the president, the NRA, the state officials, you name it.
I am not interested in taking the time to share what my view on any of those things are, for many reasons.
One of which, is the fact that I am not the parent that just lost a child.
I can only imagine how it feels, I can not know how it feels.
And I have watched parents who have lost their child in a school shooting say that they want gun reform..
and I have also watched parents who have lost their child in a school shooting say that they don’t.
I’m not in their shoes, and obviously would never want to be.
I don’t know the solution, but I do know that the easiest thing to do in this situation is to blame someone else.
This has been the immediate reaction for life in general since the fall of man.
Read Genesis 3.
Eve eats the fruit she’s not supposed to eat, and gives it to Adam to eat.
God says, yo. Bro. Did you just eat the fruit?
And Adam says…God!! The woman YOU gave me told me to do it! (Blames Eve and God!)
And then He looks at Eve, and says…is this true?
And Eve says, Look. It was the serpent! HE told me to eat it. (Blames the serpent!)
And the blame game was invented.
The easy thing to do in a tragedy like this is blame someone else.
It’s to blame the government, the president, the people, anyone, anyone else.
I am not interested in blaming someone else.
You might wonder why I am so passionate about teen ministry.
Do you know why I have chosen, the last 20 years of my life to invest in teens?
Do you know why we started a not for profit, started a youth center and have sacrificed a lot of time and money to try and make a difference in the lives of teenagers?
Do you know why we have decided to even start holding the youth center at our house just to give kids a safe place to go?
Because every time I hear about another teenager who has done something unfathomable, I always wonder…
What if this kid just needs one person to care?
Can I make a difference in the life of a kid who could potentially become the next shooter?
I believe I can.
It’s easy to serve certain people.
It’s harder to serve others.
We see teenagers every day who have lives that are an absolute hot mess.
They have lost parents, have parents in jail, are watching their parents go through divorce, have family members who have died, have a hard time in school, struggle with their weight, with self image, with depression…
And WHAT IF.
What if they just had one caring adult in their life who checked up on them.
Who prayed for them.
Who texted them every once in a while.
Who let them know that their pain matters.
That their pain is not in vain.
That God has plans for them.
That they matter.
That someone cares about them.
That they are loved.
Do you get it?
It could be me that makes a difference.
I’m not saying there shouldn’t be change in the way things are done overall, but all I’m asking is..
what if I took a minute and just stopped blaming everyone and everything else and started making a difference myself?
Right where I am.
In my own community.
I get it, I do.
Teenagers aren’t always the easiest to serve.
They aren’t always the most appreciative.
They aren’t always the easiest to love.
But they can be.
They are people. Just like you and I.
They have real struggles and real issues and just need someone to care.
And let’s be honest. You and I aren’t always the easiest to serve, the easiest to love or the most appreciative either.
We all made a decision to reach out to one teenager in our own community?
What if someone made a decision to open up a youth center to give teens a place to go, and to remind them that people care?
What if you started caring?
What if we all started caring?
What if we stopped judging and started loving.
Not love like the way the world sees it.
It’s not a feeling.
Sometimes I love people when I don’t feel like I love them at all.
What if we all started loving people.
Real, actual people that we could come in contact with every day.
My heart and my passion is to show teenagers that I love them and that God loves them.
You would be surprised at the hurt and the pain going on in the lives of these kids today.
People just want to be seen.
They want to be heard.
They want to know someone cares.
And I just want to know what our world would look like if we all started taking some responsibility on ourselves, and started showing other people that their lives matter.
Let’s just stop everything right now.
Turn off the media.
Turn off any preconceived notion, or soap box, or thoughts you have in your head and just pray.
Pray and ask God to bring someone into your life that you can impact.
Start looking inside at yourself. Your own heart.
Remember what it felt like to be a kid and to have the longing for security, for acceptance, for love.
Before you start screaming for change, try being the change.
We can change the world, you and I.
I know we can.
We sometimes think it has to be something huge and costly, but I don’t think it does.
I think it means that you tell that cashier at the grocery store that her hair is beautiful, and then ask her how she does it.
I remember once telling a teen girl who was my cashier that her freckles were stunning.
She teared up. Teared up! She told me she had always hated her freckles and thanked me for saying it.
Our words are life.
Our actions are life changing.
I don’t want to get so mad that I spend my week in frustration, rage, confusion, fear…I want to get so mad that it pushes me to change.
Maybe you’ve actually considered starting a youth center.
Maybe you always see the same guy at starbucks but you’ve never really said anything potentially life changing to him.
Maybe you notice that girl at your kids high school that looks insecure and you’ve never told her she was beautiful.
Make a change today.
Make a commitment to stop letting this happen on your watch.
Make a decision to do something about it today and every single day.
We can change the world together.
It can start with us.
Let’s stop blaming everyone else and start being the change.
Let’s change the world together.