Last night I noticed three young teens horsing around with skateboards over in Riverview. They were wearing the uniform of rebellion. They were looking like they were eager to get involved in something questionable. They looked like trouble. They looked like they were impressing each other with profanities. They looked like they were disrespectful types. They looked like the kind of kids that destroy public property. They were the kind of kids you don’t really want hanging around your business discouraging the paying customers. They stared at us as if to invite conflict. They looked at us. We looked back at them.
I looked a little longer. I looked a little deeper. I looked at their eyes. When I did they looked like the kind of kids that might have to deal with hurts at home. They looked like the kind of kids that were used to being hurt at school. I kept looking at them and when I did, they looked like the kind of boys I would love to speak to around the fire at Camp Barakel. I imagined them paddling across a Canadian lake with a group from Evangel. They looked like the kind of boys that I would like the see in our church parking lot getting on a bus for Lake Ann. I imagined them in clusters talking in the foyer at church. I imagined them playing pool in our church youth room. I imagined lowering them into the baptismal pool on a Sunday night in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. One of those boys could take my job some day. And that would be a good thing.