maybe because there were a few days in between reading the problems in adolescence and the solutions, but i haven’t been as down about a book or challenged about a solution as i have with this book.
hurt, by chap clark, is a deep and dark assessment of the mid-adolescent world from a year of his research in a high school. yikes what we have done to students and what they have to deal with.
- pressure and stress
- left to fend for themselves
there was a deep sense i got in reading this book that we have gotten to the edge of the abyss with students and as a group they are teetering and ready to drop over. we were once their age, but we never had to live in the kind of world they live in. way different demands and pressures. i wonder sometimes how they actually do it since we don’t do much ever to help them. it’s no wonder they have discovered and created their own underground world.
but then i remember these students. their smiles, their hope, their forgiveness when wronged and their ability to hang on just a little bit longer praying that we come to our senses.
and the solutions are available if we become available. we can correct the process of abandonment by stopping and embracing them. ALL OF US embracing them. as individuals who are important in our group, the community of the church. not as numbers, not as notches on the salvation belt, but as vital and important members and contributors to the community of God in our churches.
and we must start making those steps back towards them. we must ask forgiveness and earn back trust. we must listen and genuinely care. and we must make ourselves vulnerable and available to go into their world. and the hurting and isolation can be reversed and the love can become real. not just to them, but to all of us.
it’s starting to come together. some ideas and some action based on reading these books. i can’t wait for the conversations to start at fuller. one month from tomorrow i sit down in class. sweet!
only 3267 pages to read now.