streets with dwellings

August 24, 2012

newsflash: I’m having a protective moment.

okay, maybe not a newsflash. I have protective moments relatively often. but see, there’s this kid I went to high school with. an absolute sweetheart. I had a fondness for him; still do. when I knew him, he was a mess; drugs, mental fuckery, self-esteem, arrests, all that. and yet, hugely smart, and with a clarity of mind that made me do the you are capable of so much thing. I haven’t caught up with him in a while, but back then we talked about a whole heap of stuff, relatively often; university, study, student support, jobs, life, the insides of people, the nature of truth and all those philosophical things you think of when you’re both a bit emo and still trying to figure out the world. Looking back on it now, I was doing youth worker stuff.

I’m amused. I hadn’t actually even considered that until- just that sentence. But where I am now, with the girls’ home and being around youth workers and social workers who do this sort of thing, and kids in similar situations, I’m seeing the similarities. It’s- amusing.

I was on Facebook and a handful of photos came up on my newsfeed; him and a girl, all dressed up and looking happy. I went awwwh. And then the protective moment kicked in, and I looked at the girl and thought, you treat him well, ‘yhear me. don’t you hurt this kid. and then proceeded to look her over closely. she looked nice enough. playful. maybe even kind. I hope so. I really hope so.

I don’t have this reaction with a lot of people; not so consistently, anyway. I suppose I assume most people can look after themselves well enough, most of the time. Some people, though- I don’t know what it is; it’s not motherly, not really, and it’s certainly not romantic. It’s just. He is dear to me and I want him to do well. I want him to be well. I want him to grow up well and do good things with his mind and his heart and his body, to grow up whole in the heart, and be well. That others might be good to him, and that he might be good to himself. That he might be- clearly, and wholly, and truly- everything he was made to be.

If I could wish wellness on him until he grew strong with it, I would. I don’t know why. But people like this hurt me when they hurt, and I want, so much, for them to see and experience true goodness. The damaged and the broken and the lost. Sometimes I think it’s tiny glimpses of God, still working in me. The kingdom of God, they say. That we might be like God, who seeks the lost and the broken and is moved to heal them. I don’t-

God. sometimes, I remember what God is like, in little bits, even as removed and confused and questioning and doubtful as I am. even as isolated as I’ve become. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe it’s just old habit in me to attribute all good things to God, and maybe I should question that too. but these things remind me of the stories that don’t let go, the strange stories Jesus tells. the ones that stick in your head, oddly-shaped and cryptic and unfathomable and so- so full of something I don’t understand, so full of promises I can’t quite figure out. mustard seeds. pearls. yeast. camels. the kingdom of God. I like things that are so pregnant with that promise, that mystery. that- maybe God might be all that- the good, the growing, the green. that the God who is- is the God who seeks the broken and the lost and the destroyed, and wants to heal and restore and build up again, to make true, to make real and right. the God who has a heart for his people, who loves them, surely as I love that kid and the others like him I’ve broken for before. More than I love these people. That’s what I want to be true.

I’m fairly sure that wanting something to be true doesn’t make it true. But moments like this make me hopeful.


One Response to “streets with dwellings”

  1. Polly Says:

    🙂 Hey Val – are you working in the girls home now? Update me on your life!

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