Wednesday, March 15, 2006

so much hurt

Today was a hard day. Not a busy day, like a few last week. But a hard day. My students are dealing with some major issues, some big stuff, and a whole lot of junk.

A student's parent told her she hated her because of her bisexuality.
Another student was raped last week and was afraid to tell her parents.
Two students have attempted suicide in the past and are starting to feel depressed again.
Another one has no one to talk to and so drinks and smokes out to numb the pain.
And a student was molested.

There is so much hurt in the hearts of these kids. They want so desperately to be loved, to be valued, to feel joy and meaning in their lives. Yet family, peers, teachers even have told them they are not lovable, not valuable, not capable of doing anything good with their lives.

And there I sit, trying to provide some sense of hope, some piece of love or goodness to hold onto. These kids are aching to be loved by someone, anyone. And I know they are loved and cared for so deeply by their heavenly father, by the one who sent his son that they might have life. At times, this is my only saving grace. My only hope. The only thing that keeps me in my chair after 8 hours straight of hurt. This man called Jesus, who came to earth to take away the pain of sin, to give companionship in the place of loneliness and despair, as a father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow, as the source of living water that fills every last unquenchable desire, as the example of perfect love that does not hurt, exploit or disturb. Perfect love, perfect peace.

After work I went for a long swim to leave behind the day's frustrations. And as I moved through the water, I prayed for these kids. I prayed that the God I know and trust and believe in would be enough for me in that moment, would be enough for these kids with so much hurt. And I left it all there, floating into the cool night in splashes of water.

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