I watched the film 'The Help' (Taylor, 2011) for the second time last week. It's a great book and film, set during the American civil rights moment in the 1960s it provides plenty of stimulus for discussion, but there are two scenes that have been playing on my mind in the last two weeks as I've spent time with our youth kids.
In the film Aibileen Clark (played by Viola Davis) is an African American woman who works as a maid caring for the house and young child, Mae Mobley, of a white couple. Mae Mobley receives very little attention or affection from her parents, and the little attention she does receive is mostly negative. Aibileen is the one who is effectively raising Mae Mobley and sowing words of encouragement and affirmation into her life. There is a scene early on where Mae Mobley is sitting on Aibileen's lap where she speaks positive words into Mae Mobley's life, "You is smart, you is kind, you is important". These are also the final words that Aibileen speaks to Mae Mobley after she is dismissed from her position. It was these two scenes that I have been thinking about while spending time with our youth.
Tim and I and our leadership team (and the wider church community) are in a privileged position with our youth kids. We have the opportunity to speak words of truth into their lives. For some of our kids we will be one of many voices who are investing and building them up, and we can add to that. For others, we may be one of the few or only voice of truth. We have kids whose parents and families are distracted or disinterested or, for many reasons, unable to speak truth into the lives of their kids. We have a responsibility to share the truth of the gospel and of God's love and we have the opportunity. I want to make sure that we are making the most of that opportunity.
Our kids are fearfully and wonderfully made. They are loved by God and He has a plan for them. These are the things that we want to sow into the hearts of our youth. We want to be a voice of truth in their lives.
Do you have opportunities to speak truth into the lives of the people around you? Are you making the most of these opportunities?