Junior high kids are funny. Sometimes they can be serious, but most of the time, they are just super-squirrely. We have a hilarious group of 6th graders, especially a small group of girls who are all going through the “I-want-to-be-punk” stage so they all have the plastic bracelets, black clothes, spike-bracelets and stuff like that. One girl in particular is absolutely hilarious – I love being around her. But everyone thinks she’s just going off the deep end, going through some severe depression and turning away from God [primarily because of the way she is dressing]. What she’s most likely going through is the normal 6th grade girl, I’m tired of being a good Christian church kid, I’m trying to find myself, kind of stuff. So last Sunday she and I were walking through the office, and joking around and I just put my arm around her and said, “I’m glad we’re friends…I like you…I like you just the way you are” (now that I type it, it sounds sort of cheesy, but…anyway). Her response…”Aww, thanks Adam. You’d be the first…”
I don’t know if she was joking or not, but really…I should not have been the first. And yes, even if she was joking, there is always some truth in that. We should be telling the kids that are in our lives, the students we are working with, that they are loved and accepted by us…by God. They need to be hearing this.