Great Things Happen on the Way to Burritos

***note - I changed this child's name for the sake of the story. . . .

So one Saturday about a month ago I had off of work and walked over to this Guatemalan place on the corner and I saw Tyler. Now, this was not a normal Saturday. . . this Saturday marked the 6 month anniversary since Ebony passed away. Obviously, not a highlight Saturday for me. So I did what I do on days like this, and lock myself away for a minute, listen to good sermons via podcasts, weep a little in prayer and spend time with Jesus.

So around 5 or 6, I got a burrito craving. Once you have had a burrito from Pura Vida, you will understand their well-earned notoriety in 633A Beulah Place. Anyway, the craving came so I picked myself off of the couch and walked down the block. On my way, on my mopey day, I see one of the most beautiful things you can see on a walk in North Philly. My boy Tyler was standing in the middle of the block, on his way to the basketball court, just smiling. He had seen me first and was waiting for me to catch up with him. Then, right there, in the middle of Fairmount Avenue, this little man threw his arms around me and we had one of our classic Tyler-Megan hugs.

Just an update on Tyler. This is THAT kid. The kid new volunteers go home and tell their family and friends about. The one that will scare those with weak stomaches away. He will interrupt, curse out, disrespect any adult that he feels inclined to. Pure attitude, loads of anger and many many walls. Inside that shell of anger is one of the brightest kids I know. I am not just saying that to be polite or speak well for speaking well's sake. Tyler could really make it, as an engineer, a chemist, a doctor. Math and Science? Child's play to Tyler. But the attitude? The attitude is making him fail most of his classes.

Now this kid doesn't just hug you like he is glad to see you. He hugs like he is catching up on a lifetime of hugs. It comes to the point where I literally peel him off of me. But that is so hard. I just want to keep on hugging him. Keep on loving him the only way I know how. I don't know the depths of what causes him to be this angry. There is not a tool in my 'tool box' that can work on this one. Tyler makes me look up to focus on the One who can bring that healing, and knows the depths of the soul I can only guess about.

So I just hug. I try to help him catch up on however many hugs he feels like he has missed out on. And as he pulls away, he says - "I love you Megan". melt. my. heart. How can anyone claim this Saturday as a bad day when this interaction has happened? You just can't. So the six month anniversary of Ebony's death turned out to be a great day.

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Then tonight I got that burrito craving again. So on my way over I saw my favorite people. Six or seven of my girls were out on Fairmount Ave, causing a ruckus. But I love ruckuses. Did I mention that there were also four or five boys mixed in there?

I laugh as I sit here and think about the scene. Almost every other adult in the world would jump across the street and walk on the opposite side of this mob. Not me. Somehow, sometime, God set it into motion that I became the woman that marches right through the middle of this
particular mob. Not only do I walk through them, but I get several hugs on my way through.

Of course I tell each of my girls that they are too good for whatever these boys are telling them. I tell them that they are so valuable. Whispers in their ears as I hug them. Reminders of things we have already spent time talking about. I pray as I walk away that somethings sticks, that God moves some little bit of their hearts or minds to protect them for now. Lord, please protect them as they are so young, too young to grasp the outcomes of these actions. Lord, please please protect them.

The idea of these girls and sex is top on my mind. I've done this urban/teen/girl ministry before. It led to planning baby showers and buying pregnancy tests. I talk to God a lot about this. I don't want to buy any more pregnancy tests or plan and more baby showers, unless its for my sister again ;) Seriously though, I have faith that these girls are different. Faith is being sure of what you hope for, and certain of what you do not see, right? So I plan on being sure and certain that Miss Megan is not planning any more baby showers. And I can have confidence in telling them its not ok. Because these are not my rules, they are God's and He certainly does not play.

ahhhhhh, these girls have totally grabbed my heart!!!

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So, I think I really like my walks to get burritos. Never has there been a dull one. Good stuff. God is good stuff.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

you're pretty awesome, megan. and you're very good at making me want a burrito :)