Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beauty is in the eyes of the Beholder

God and His creativity strikes again. Only a loving and creative God could mix music, food, a gifted teacher, wrestling, the Bible, a midnight run to Meijer, dancing and water to get a large group of happy broken people who want to live their life for Jesus Christ together in one place.

He’s so amazingly fun.

“Beauty is in the eyes of the Beholder”, is a quote I haven’t given much thought to until this moment. To me seeing a newborn baby being born is one of the most beautiful things that anyone could ever experience, my husband on the other hand who has seen five live births up close and personal thinks quite the opposite. But any opportunity that he gets to be in an airplane, he thinks is a beautiful thing, me the only time I want to be near an airplane is if I am flying somewhere warm. What we see as beautiful is a personal preference, no one can tell us whether or not what we think is beautiful is right or wrong, we put our own life experiences and our tastes into the making of this decision. So yes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

Telling someone that an adolescent teenager of either gender is a beautiful thing could definitely be up for discussion, unless of course you know the teenagers that I know. Young men and women that live beautiful and broken lives, due to their own choices or the choices of others, these are teenagers of extreme depth. They deal with loneliness, depression, eating disorders, unreliable adults, peer issues, control issues, anger, abuse and the list goes on. But what do they choose to do, to spend their time hearing from God? These students (for the most part) chose to attend a weekend where they knew the Bible was going to be taught and they would be hearing from God, that is a beautiful thing, especially “in the eyes of the Beholder”. Even a few that didn’t want to be there ended up hearing from God, and their lives are forever changed.

Sitting and listening to a very gifted communicator isn’t typically on the priority list of a teenager, but this weekend these students sat and attentively listened to someone use the life of David as a spring board for teaching Biblical truths, being taught in a way that even a teenager with an attention span of 20 seconds was able to sit, listen and learn.

Being a part of the student ministry has been so eye opening for me. People are shaped and molded into the adults they will become by their childhood and adolescent experiences. (The “nurture vs. nature” debate continues, I am a strong “nurture” supporter and I love to talk about it!!!) Spending time with high school students has shown me how important it is to “nurture” their hearts. Deep down inside of those crazy, impulsive, self-conscience hearts there is a soft, yearning to learn, loving heart that is often buried by life’s circumstances. When you can prove to a teenager that you have their best interest in mind some of those layers of protection they have placed on themselves begin to fall away. When the layers of protection begin to disappear and the heart is slowly exposed and begins to trust, this is the beginning of a heart shaped for and by God. A heart too protected is a heart protected not only from humans but also from God. When that heart begins to poke it’s way out from the walls of protection, it begins to see that God is real, when these wonderful developing creatures begin to see God working in their lives, they want to learn and experience more. During this time of growing and maturing in their abilities to trust God they learn that it’s not always easy, fun, and pain free, but no matter what their circumstance God will see them through and will give them the people, the power, and ability to see Light even on the darkest day.

“Beauty is in the eyes of the Beholder”, the beauties are the students I know and love. The Beholder is our wonderful Creator, the “holder” of our hearts, the source of who we are, all we do, all we give and all we desire.

"I am so unworthy, but still He loves me" enough to allow me to be a small part of the changing lives of some sweet teenagers.

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