It’s so easy to put up a wall and hide. We can easily present our perfect face. It feels good to be in control and to appear that we aren’t affected by the little problems of the day. Who doesn’t want to seem like the good guy?
Yet, if we are like this, are we ever open to receive teens? A teen doesn´t just need someone who wants to help them but someone who is open, someone who can be harmed. If you are a wall, the teen can’t have a relationship.
Christ is our model for working with teens. He was not a wall. Jesus was perfect but he was vulnerable. He went out to meet us. If he wanted to remain as a wall, impenetrable, he could have remained in heaven. He chose to come down. He chose to be able to suffer on the cross. We, in the same way, need to be able to suffer to reach out to teens. We can’t remain abstract. A relationship is about one who is willing to suffer with the other, one who is willing to live with them through high and low, and ultimately one who is willing to live for them.
I noticed this as I was at the ECyD Mentors’ course here in Madrid. On Tuesday afternoon we went out to visit some men in drug rehab. I really wasn’t certain about going since I wasn’t sure they would speak a understandable Spanish or they could understand my gringo accent. However, once I stepped out of myself, I was able to reach these people. One of the men started asking about how to pray the psalms, and I hope what I offered helped him.