I am un-happy to announce that our old friend Ear Infection has made a return appearance. GREAT. Now all I have to blog about over the next few weeks is my dang ears, you poor people. 🙂 Just joking. This time I got anti-biotics up front, painkiller ear drops (who knew there was such a thing? I didn’t, but I’m sure glad I have them now), and I’m toying with the idea of taking some of that extra codeine we have just, oh, lying around here somewhere (I knew there was a good reason to save those!!). You will not get me this time Ear Infection. I’ve learned my lesson about you.
The cause? Apparently, the environment in Southern California is against me and my very, very small ear canals. So against me that my doctor cussed and shook his head. True story. Two ear infections in a month after a lifetime of never having one? Stupid So Cal! We cuss thee!
Today John and I indulged in his favorite hamburger stand, Tommy’s. He likes it because they put insane amounts of greasy chili on anything you want. I think they would probably even put it in your drink if you asked. Anyway, Johnny’s had a stressful week of grading, my car broke (oh didn’t I mention that my shocks DIED and then the dealership tried to scam us out of $1200 in repairs that were covered by the warranty? It didn’t work and my car is happy again, but the shocks and some other repairs still cost us 500 bucks. ARFLODKNGLHGS I hate spending money on cars), and then I got sick AGAIN so we were like, "aw heck, a little grease won’t hurt anything." And there you have the story of how I’m 25 pounds overweight right now but I digress …
John went into the restaurant to order and I drove around the corner to try and find a place to park in crazy Santa Monica. I found one close pretty fast and I just walked around the corner past a big group of high school kids who were acting silly while they were waiting for the city bus to come by. As I walked in the open-air restaurant John told me to go as far inside as I could and sit at the back table. I know better than to argue with him when he strikes a tone like the one he had. John came back and joined me and told me that one of the kids (who was still in plain view) had a gun in the front of his pants and he’d brandished it to his friends. The kid was probably 15 or 16 and he was with a girl, who he later walked off down the street with … I’m guessing he was walking her home.
When I witness something like this my heart just goes out to that kid. I think a lot of people see teenagers and imagine a situation where a kid living in Santa Monica like that with a gun in his pants and think immediately "ah, kids today." I don’t. I usually think that it’s not that kid’s fault that someone has taught him to carry a gun (although it is his fault for actually doing it). It’s frightening and dangerous and mind-blowing all at the same time but you have to think about what a kid’s home life might be like, what his neighborhood might be like, how his friends and relatives conduct themselves. I want to tell a kid like that about how Jesus loves him and died for him. How Jesus longs to be with him. That it was worth it to Jesus to take his place and that if he was the only person in the world, he would have died for him just the same.
There is so much hurt and brokeness in this city. There are so many problems without answers. I went over to the high school today and my heart just quickens when I’m there because I know what the Lord can do there, how the dead can live there. I know I’m waxing a little dramatic here but these are my honest thoughts. I love high schoolers. I even love the ugly and scary ones. I love them. I want them to know how valuable they are in the kingdom of God and that no one can take that away from them, even if someone takes their very life they cannot take God away from them. They deserve a chance at the healing that Jesus offers. It matters so much.
And I guess that’s why I do what I do. It’s why I work for Young Life. Sometimes I get down about having a master’s degree that I don’t really use for my job but on days like this it strikes me that God has asked me to do something and the reasons for going to grad school are His and not mine. For crying out loud He moved us to this city and a few months ago I had (once again) NO job and no way to do the work I love and within weeks all that changed.
For so many years and in so many tough times my life verse has been: "Above all else, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8
How true that is ringing for me today. Sometimes you just gotta testify.