Last night, we had a friend over for dinner. She lived with us for a year while she interned with the youth at our church, and she’s awesome. One of those, “I hope my son marries someone like her someday” kind of young women. Before dinner, we were chatting about life and love and the like, and she was sharing her feelings that sometimes she “doesn’t fit.” She was referring to being single among the married, and I remember the feeling. But, I also remembered the feeling from just a few hours earlier, too. Yesterday, as I drove home after work, I passed the line up of cars at the neighborhood swim meet. My thought was “I don’t fit.” I’m a non-swim team mom in a swim team neighborhood – I am not a mom whose kids are home all the time to even go to swim practice. Custody gets in the way of so much – it hurts my kids, but it also feels like a rock in my own shoe. Something doesn’t fit.
Isn’t that the lie that women all feel? Perhaps my friends are all nuts, but I have had more conversations than I can count with friends who don’t feel like they fit – in one way or another.
Maybe that’s part of why I loved teaching high school so much and why I love refugee ministry so much. Teenagers don’t fit. Refugees don’t fit. What we all feel on the inside is displayed on the outside in these two sub-groups.
I was so excited to find out from my friend that she is going to bring teenagers to Clarkston! We’re going to hang out there next Friday with some youth who will help us do some work on the bungalow and visit with our new refugee friends from Somalia. Then, in July, we’re hopefully going to be able to do “block parties” at one of the complexes with some youth from our church, too.
As much as I am psyched about the individual opportunities to bring kids to Clarkston, I was encouraged by my friend’s heart…by what she sees in teenagers who serve. She lit up when she shared about how much changes in kids when they serve. She says that they change because they experience the gospel as good news, and she says they change because they realize that the people they are serving are just like them. Those who don’t fit become those who do fit.
So…I am encouraged by the gospel that helps us to see that we all don’t fit…and that we all do fit under the umbrella of the grace of Christ.