I have a confession to make. I am a dumpster diver. I actually enjoy looking through garbage looking for something that can be salvaged. Of course I know part of this comes from the fact that I like free things. I think the best find was the day I found a bunch of mannequins. That made for endless hours of enjoyment as I left these new friends in strategic places to scare people. Ah memories.
However, as I was walking to meet my team at starbucks this morning I realized that my fascination had taken on a new level of obsession. It was garbage and recycling day in our neighborhood and I found myself looking in the bins of stuff thrown out by my neighbors on the rare chance that I could find something of value.
I think God must have been listening in because I heard a voice say..."This is why you're a youth worker." I spent the rest of my walk in silence thinking this over. I came to the conclusion that this is a very accurate description.
For instance: A young lady was labeled a "lost cause" by some authorities in her life, this inspired me to search for the treasure and as my wife and I befriended her we found she had an amazing singing voice and created a talent show for her to display this reality. She began to change. She finally had a voice.
A young elementary aged boy was a handful in school. He was the bully in school, the trouble maker in class, and the delinquent on the street. By the 6th grade he was into some pretty serious stuff. The officals had lost hope, but I saw potential and so I sat waiting for hours to talk with his parents about the opportunity to befriend him. They didn't understand why I'd want to.
These are just two cases, but there are many more. Just as the Canadian YFC / Youth Unlimited motto goes.
"we see the hope and potential in every young person"
I cant give up. I have to keep looking. I will find the treasure.