In my continued reading of Donald Miller's Searching For God Knows What many of the ideas and philosophies that I hold to be true have been regularly challenged. If I had to sum up my experience reading any of Miller's books, I would say that he presents me with new things that I haven't thought about yet, he presents another side to a familiar issue that I hadn't considered, and he gives new language to ideas and beliefs which had long since become stale inside my head.
So, all in all, I usually get smacked in the face.
But, I ran across a passage last night that rings especially true for those of us in youth ministry. Once again, thanks Donald Miller: Chapter 8, page 113...
It makes you feel that as a parent the most important thing you can do is love your kids, hold them and tell them you love them because, until we get to heaven, all we can do is hold our palms over the wounds. I mean, if a kid doesn’t feel he is loved, he is going to go looking for it in all kinds of ways. He is going to want to feel powerful or important or tough, and she is going to want to feel beautiful and wanted and needed. Give a kid the feeling of being loved early, and they will be better at negotiating the other stuff when they get older. They won’t fall for anything stupid, and they won’t feel a kind of desperation all the time in their souls. It is no coincidence that Jesus talks endlessly about love. Free love. Unconditional love.