Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Youth Culture Update: Wishes Vs. Hope

Every once in a while I find a song that really captures the youth culture that I am exposed to on a daily basis.  Music, more than textbooks, is an indicator of the way that teens think and feel.  It is the chorus of this song by B.O.B. that really ring out to me:

Can we pretend that airplanes
In the night sky
Are like shooting stars
I could really use a wish right now (wish right now, wish right now)

Here are a few of the situations that I’ve watched kids face:

A teen whose mom refuses to acknowledge she has a daughter.  A dad that has ignored her, and friiends that have turned on her. 

She could really use a wish right now

A teen who has never met his dad and for Christmas – his mom died

He could really use a wish right now

A teen that has spent more time in the hospital than in their home.

They could really use a wish right now

A teen that walks the streets trapped in the grasp of drugs and prostitution

She could really use a wish right now.

Of course, as the song portrays, shooting stars are rare.  Too rare for the amount of wishes needed to change the world.  I have sat with these young people and listened to their stories.  The snippets that I have portrayed don’t even do the stories justice. 

When you sit next to a real live teen telling you these things – the only appropriate response you can have is to cry.

Of course even a shooting start wouldn’t be able to make things right.  But as long as they are staring up into the night sky they still have hope that something can change.  It is those that don’t even notice the stars any more that I worry about.  And around this part of the world, a clear night in which you can even see the stars in rare.  Then what?

To each of the above kids I have shared what I know about the God who created us and walks alongside us.  Each of them has responded with hope, but when life continued to throw unimaginable things at them.  Each of them has rejected whatever hope they did have in him.  I think they have more hope in the airplanes than in him.

Yet, I can’t give up hope.

I can’t abandon them.

I can’t leave them staring up into the sky.

They have told me they want no part of God, but that they are ok with me. 

I can only hope that in time, they see God shining through me and that they realize that even if they have lost hope in him, he hasn’t lost hope in them.  Thanks for reading, praying, wishing and hoping with me.
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