Aug 29, 2008

"Dear Mr. Jesus" and the silenced epidemic

i'm actually working on my sunday morning teaching of 1 john chapter 5... well, i was until until i heard a song that my roommate was listening to on you tube. this song has been tucked away in my thoughts, buried under 15 + years of life and often times forgotten for months at a time.

the song is simply titled "Dear Mr. Jesus". i was first introduced to it along with 3 of my sisters by our neighborhood friend. when we listened to the burdening lyrics, which are sung by a little girl, each of our own very young hearts broke into fragile, tiny pieces. the words seemed to cling to our bodies like heavy blankets, as if they were draping all the brokenness of the world upon our childlike frames. we cried. our tears were no doubt prayers of the Spirit working through our trusting, immature faith.

when i heard this song tonight, all those emotions experienced by my sisters and i came rushing back. i cried, and my tears were no doubt prayers of the Spirit working through my trusting, and still immature faith. this time was different however. this time the crumbling of my heart leads me to action...

and the action??? it may not deal directly with innocently abused children in the same fashion as the song portrays, but it does deal with the abused. see, i work in the beautiful world of youth ministry. there are boundless important facets of my job; perhaps the one that ranks the highest is relationships. it is profoundly vital to pour out our hearts, support, encouragement and love into the lives of youth. one way i am able to do that is by coaching a high school girls cross country team. there is a common and very distorted, vicious, life consuming thread that weaves its damaging way through the lives of young women - the thread, no,the word thread gives it far too soft of a connotation; it is more like barbed wire fencing; the barbed wire that connects young teenage women across the world is a deep struggle with poor body image perceptions. i know that living in southern california the girls that i coach are especially bombarded with the blasting lies of media today screaming at them to look a certain way, and in attempt to keep up with such lies, the tumultuous patterns of an eating disorder set in.

in my early 20's i too fell victim to these lies and for 3 years i struggled with anorexia and bulimia. now fully healed because of God's sweet amazing grace, i can see the horrific effects of this body image epidemic (yes, it is absolutely an epidemic) in our youth today.  i cannot and will not let it eat away at the lives of these beautiful, God breathed, gorgeously gifted young women. God have mercy, and move me into action.

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