What about Abercrombie & Fitch?

We have prayed for three years that God would bring us the teens who don’t have any other place to go. I think God has answered those prayers. We get to engage with these “Gifts from God” who wander our way, we share meals with them, we share space, we share stories. We share pain, we share joy, at times we even share silence. It’s a pretty rough crowd at times. I am very comfortable and get along great with pot heads, skaters, emo and goth people. I like and appreciatewannabe gang bangers, street fighters and strange odd balls. Some of the girls that come to visit are of very questionable character. I like it this way. I love the fact that these teens have a place to call their own. It does create some provblems for us but I’ll gladly deal with all those problems to keep this place as open as possible. So what about Abercrombie & Fitch? What about the teens who have wealthy parents? What about the teens who gets dropped off in a Hummer? What about the teens who already have collage paid for? What about the teens who think they are the center of the universe and we are only here to get them what they want? Well, we welcome them with open arms. You see, there is truly an open table at our teen center. You are welcome just as you are. If you showed up at a Friday afternoon you could see some of this in play. We call it Friday feast, and I have written about it before but I can’t help myself, I have to mention it again. On well worn couches, gathered for a pretty healthy meal, you can at times see this mysterious thing when for a moment teens forget who they are when it comes to sub-culture and engage with each other on truly human basis, through honest, authentic relationship. We are no longer skaters, emo, goth, prep, geeks. We are just human. It’s looking straight into the kingdom of God in so many ways.

I think teens long for somewhere to belong. I think teens want to be heard. I think teens want space to talk about stuff without correction or interuption. I think teens want to check out their beliefs against a non-judgmental sounding board. If you don’t over react over the exterior, you will find that teens are in many ways the same. They deal with similar stuff irregardless of the clothes they wear, or parental income.

In some ways I don’t respect sub cultural boundaries. I don’t believe in separation of these subcultures. If I were to just serve the poor teens or the skaters, or the emo or goths I think I would live and preach a shattered gospel. The Kingdom advances when such boundaries are done away with. Somehow we have to learn to live together. We don’t all have to become the same but we do have to learn to live together. I will gladly live with the stress and conflict that comes from this melting pot of subcultures to see the Kingdom advance in the midst of it all. So, I am glad to see the numbers of Abercrombie & Fitch teens increase at our teen center.

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~ by Rickard on July 26, 2008.

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