Ruthie and I know the lady whose story I want to tell you, so I know it’s true…
There’s this school. High school. Down town. Less than 500 miles from where we live. Nine of the girls, ages 14, 15, and 16, are pregnant. The mother of one of them asked our friend if she could do something to show the girls they were not blacklisted, they were not forsaken, they were still loved.
Could she put together some gifts, maybe some layettes (guys, I didn’t know what that meant, either…it means baby clothes, diapers, all the stuff the new moms are gonna need). Our friend (I’ll call Lori) decided God would be honored if she and her prayer warriors were to go above and beyond the basics.
So she and a few friends came together and organized a baby shower for each of these nine prospective teenage moms. They went to work, and for each of the nine girls they collected a crib, a car seat, a pile of diapers, powder, baby oil, bottles, and all the other stuff-of-survival for a newborn. The girls were overwhelmed. Instead of being marginalized and judged, they were being shown a love that most them had never known. As the girls were opening their gifts they were told, “This is just to remind you that God really loves you.” It was the talk of the campus; still is.
But that’s not the end of the story. Lori learned that only about half of the seniors from the school – both girls and boys – would complete their work, make passing grades and graduate in the Spring. The principal made it clear that those who did not would probably not return to try again, thus the cycle of poverty and hollow futures would doubtless be repeated for most. Could Lori and her team help with that problem, too?
Lori contacted the school administration and the parents. It wasn’t as easy as cribs and car seats, but they began to put together an after-school mentoring plan for the kids who were behind. So how did that workout ? Not sure yet, but early indicators are very promising. Call me when school’s out and I’ll have an update for you.
But here’s the take-away: Love is something you do. Love isn’t something you wish was different. Love isn’t something you wish someone would do something about. Love isn’t something that makes you cluck your tongue and shake your head. Love is something you do.
Love doesn’t just talk about how nice it would be to have a shower or a tutor; Love is getting your hands dirty…love is stepping into the need and becoming part of the solution. And I promise you this, when you commit to being available, God’s plan for your future will scare you to death. But it will be the ride of your life. Ready? So go ahead; call somebody.
By Don Jacobsen (hope-heals.org)