Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Out of the Darkness comes the Light

One of the things I am most proud of at Youth Mentoring is our approach. We call it a gift centered approach in which we “see” our young people’s gifts, and understand that sometimes, actually most times, these gifts lie right next to their wounds. And these wounds run deep… so deep at times that they are afraid to look at them much less talk about them. So I have to be patient, not a quality I am known for I will admit. But I do not walk away, no matter what, and eventually, the door opens ever so slowly and cautiously – and I stick my toe in! And I wait.

I have been having a similar conversation with two of my “babies”. One is a young woman I have known for about 6 years, and the other is a now a man who I have known for about 15 years, and they have both held me at arms length while holding on to me fiercely. They always tell me they are “fine” or “okay”, or how “they can handle it” as their eyes punch me in the heart with their pain. And I wait.

Then, she writes me a letter on her graduation, telling me how I always talked to her about letting me in, but I was the only one who she let in – I was the only one she let in…. she explains. How she will miss me when she goes to college. And she loves me.

We are talking about basketball, and how he can’t give it up because it helps him escape, and what he is escaping from, and I listen. He slept that night “real good”.

The light always comes…


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