The theme of the Jr Hi camp was 'taking off masks'. I liked it & looking @ the group of students we had w/ us, it seemed appropriate. I thought for sure I'd see some major changes over the weekend.
Towards the end of the weekend, looking @ our students & the other students @ camp, I realized that our students are pretty 'real' already.
I realized that they know they are rough, they are NOT your standard, clean-cut all American kids. They also aren't afraid to let you know it. They are pretty upfront & will tell you straight up that they're not sure about this 'Jesus thing', they aren't afraid to let you know they live w/ grandparents not their parents, or they live w/ their parents who are not married or that they live w/ each parent every other week. I realized too that most of them are not in the jr hi group because they are forced to 'go to church' by parents.
Most attend of their own free will. If they want to stand & worship they will, if they want to clap they will & if they don't, they won't & you can't make them. I realized that they are more real than many of us adults. They don't care how they "should be", they are who they are.
They will admit that they care most of all about the 'presents' they will get for Christmas, who the cute boys are & a myriad of other 'worldly' things. And deep down they still long for you to like them.
They really aren't fake, they just ARE. They ARE who they ARE & that's it.
For the past few months I have been debating about whether or not I should remain a Jr Hi leader or not (even though I've only started a few months ago). I felt like it was pointless most day as was my attendance every week. I felt like it just didn't matter if I was there or not & I was certainly NOT making a difference by being there.
Maybe I'm not but this weekend showed me that even though they don't fit into the nice & tidy package I would prefer to see & deal w/, they are who they are & they come every week, just like that.
And isn't this how Jesus wants us to approach Him anyway?
And don't we long for His acceptance, no matter what?
It gave me a new appreciation for these souls, no matter what thier (or maybe it's mine?) issues are---it's ok for them to 'just be'. kwim?