“We cannot accept love from another human being when we do not love ourselves, much less accept that God could possibly love us.” Brennan Manning
I once heard a story of a father who asked his disabled son, “Daniel, when you see God looking at you, what you see in His eyes?” After a pause, the boy replied, “His eyes are filled with tears, Dad.” “Why, Dan?” An even longer pause. “Because God is sad.” And why is He sad?” Daniel stared at the floor. When at last he looked up, his eyes glistened with tears. “Because God knows, I’m afraid.”
This summer, our Youth and Family Impact staff will be spending time with kids taking them to educational activities and our Street Outreach staff will be walking the neighborhoods that are known for gang violence; and our SAFE (Students and Families Empowered) therapists will be counseling Special Education students during Summer School.
Common sense would have told us that hanging out with gang kids with different temperaments from different neighborhoods is downright foolish - but, God. God knows that these “knuckleheads” cover their fears with the veneer of anger and hostility, many times directed at my staff. Yet, all the gang signs, tattoos, hard looks, and even harder hearts are used as a wall to protect themselves from rejection, pain and fear.
But God, everyday that is spent with these students cracks develop in their walls, a smile, a thank you, a “see you tomorrow Bob” – God is love penetrating in their hearts. You see, just as in Daniel’s case, God’s eyes are filled with tears because He knows these kids are afraid . . . fear of rejection, fear of tomorrow, fear of not being loved, just to name a few.
Please pray for the safety of our staff and that God will continue to embrace each one of these kids and that they will ultimately come to experience the consistent love and forgiveness of their Heavenly Father. Thank you for your love and support of Jesus’ kids.
Because of Him,
Betty Alvarez Ham
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