Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Know You

One of the things by which I am struck (this last phrase was for all you English majors who yearn to fix my grammar ;) each and every Workcamp (youth mission trip,) is the role of stereotypes. They are both enforced rigorously and busted routinely.


Teen life has very rigid stereotypes. Good = beautiful, buff, handsome, rich (or at the least, having all the right gadgets,) popular, athletic, possibly smart, extroverted, hip, having of transportation (especially if it was a "statement" vehicle and not mom's clunker.) Most of us remember enforcing or being crushed by these "good" stereotypes in school.


"Bottom feeders" were sometimes smart, dorky (unless "cute" dorky,) ugly (or, at least, not beautiful,) uncoordinated, last-to-get-cool-stuff-first-to-have-to-check-with-mom, curfewed, car-less, introverted, needy, social awkward.


Then, all of the sudden, the same people see those who are poor, of another color or religion, physically not beautiful, angry, not squeaky clean in body or property, marginally educated, frail, and in need as Kings and Queens. The teens get to know the real person. And I am so proud of them. So is God.


Today, are you looking on the outside or really getting to know the person who, at first, you find off-putting or not meeting your criteria of good?" Jesus always looked deeper. He loved the "bottom feeders" with all his heart. He died for everyone. Thank you, Youth of St. Andrew's! Bust those stereotypes.

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