I talked extensively about God's imprinting us with his image and our search to fill an impression that was only meant to be filled by God. Like a hand-print placed on our hearts that only the person who put it there can fill. Other things and people can attempt to, but they will be too small or too big. This substitution fill will leave us either searching for something more or overwhelmed and consumed by something that is so big we can't carry it. The hand-print can only be filled by God (it's creator) and when we allow him to fill it, we find our identity. We find our God given purpose and we find wholeness. Each of us has God's image in us, we just don't realize it. Realizing it involves acknowledging that when we see each other, we should see each other with dignity and worth because we are all children of God. We are all intricately connected. And when we look at each other we should realize that we are looking at God.
At end of the day, I wanted the reality of all that I had shared to sink into each of them. Why is it important to see people in this way? Why is social justice important? I had all of the girls in the class stand up. It just so happened that there were 11 of them and they were three in three rows and 2 in the last row. These young ladies all stood and I said, please understand that I want to share with you a statistic that is shocking and will hurt a bit, but my intention is not to hurt you, but instead to make this real for you. And I'm not naive enough to think that this might not already be real. I counted them out loud and asked each student to look at each other. And then I shared...
Class, the unfortunately statistic is this...it is from the UN Millennium Project...1 in 3 women will be victims of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. The look on their face was indescribable. The guys in the room had a visible change in them. I continued with the class explaining that this statistic is NOT fair. It's not fair that one girl in each row statistically speaking will experience sexual violence before the end of her life. It's not fair that the responsibility has been placed on her shoulders. It's not fair that something more isn't being done to change it. The truth is --this statistic wouldn't be true if each and everyone of us began to see God in ourselves and God in others. If we began to respect, love and protect, not only ourselves, but others, if we began to live Micah 6:8 (To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.)
Social justice matters and 16-17 year old kids CAN make a difference! There's no question about it! They can change the world! And it starts with our walking the straight line!
I'm excited to see where this class goes! And praying for kingdom breakthrough through these kids in powerful ways!!!!