Tuesday, September 1, 2009

toy traders

Here in Langley our team doesn't have an office, we don't have any program space and we don't have a drop-in center. You'll find us in coffee shops, in bowling alleys and in the local toy store: toy traders.

Toy Traders is an amazing place. Not only are the shelves filled with all the newest toys but there are also vast arrays of nostalgic toys from the 70s and 80s. The background music in the store is a loop of all the greatest tv show theme songs. To top it all off there are huge displays of toys lacing the ceiling. GI Joe, Marvel Super Heroes, and even the terminator. My personal favorite is the death star firing at the borg cube. The ultimate battle between star trek and star wars. Needless to say it is more than just a store. It is an experience.
I bring youth there often wandering around for hours. It us a place we can tell stories, act goofy, check out toys, and make wagers over how many girl smurfs there were. However it is in this place that highlights our modern North American mythology. Super heroes are after all a retelling of God like characters. In the recent Transformers movie as one of the main characters is revealed as a 50 foot tall robot a soldier says, "makes you wonder if were made in God's image who's image he's made in." In the movie the Watchmen accident gives one man almost limitless power. The news coverage of this accident reports, "God exists and he is an American!".

I like to ask teens what sorts of powers they would want because it reveals things about what they struggle with in their lives. To those that want to be invisible I wonder if they want to hide from. To those that want to fly I wonder what they are fleeing from. To those who want strength i wonder what they fight against. It really is quite revealing.

See we don't a drop-in center to do our work, we just need more places as awesome as Toy Traders.

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