"F*** you, ho."
Those are pretty harsh words.
Imagine someone screaming them in your face.
You'd probably be angry, offended, maybe even tempted to yell back.
Now, imagine that someone yelling is a seven-year-old.
Changes things, right? It did for me.
A little boy yelled those words at me today just before saying, "I'm gunna have my dad shoot you," and just after kicking me... a lot.
I don't want it to sound like I'm complaining. I'm not. Watching a child act that way leaves no room for anger--only a weird kind of shock that gives way to sadness. Seeing the intense hatred and hurt flow out of him was a reality check for me.
Working in ministry, it's easy to get caught up in the idea that these kids need more programs, more activities, more stuff. But the truth is that none of those things can change lives. Only through the power of Jesus and His love expressed through individuals can hardened hearts like those of the little boy be softened and changed. So, here's to my getting back to basics in my mind.
I don't know the little boy's name, but pray for him with me that his life would be marked by love not hate, joy rather than hurt, and triumph instead of tragedy.