Every year I celebrate with someone who is graduating from high school. It’s a moment of great accomplishment and anticipation for the next stage of life.
Today I am also reminded of the multitude of teens who didn’t walk across the stage this year. Right now it seems that there’s no hope for their future. In addition, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of young women and men in our state who have experienced the pain of sexual abuse and are reeling from the trauma in their lives. Right now it appears that there’s no healing in their future. I’ve encountered some of these people in both suburban and urban communities.
It’s important that we pursue, embrace, and love our teenagers for who they are right now. Our deep love for them will cover a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Their stories may have a dismal start but they can have a glorious finish.
I believe that every community has a Maya Angelou. This week Maya’s life of perseverance, forgiveness, and hope came to an end at the age of eighty-six. As a young girl she was raped and as a teenager she didn’t graduate from high school. But as an adult she was revered for her wisdom, endurance, leadership, teaching, fluency in five languages, brilliant prose and profound poetry.
I believe there are many girls and boys who will endure great pain and accomplish great feats. If only we could see them for who God has called them to be rather than who the world tells them they are right now.