Faith_teens

I often hear people say, “When I was young, I thought I knew everything. Now that I’m older, I don’t know anything.” Such it seems at times with the topic of Faith.
2015 marks my 38th year to work with teenagers. Every day at work, I talk with teens who want to kill themselves. Yes, they really do want to die. They have lost all hope. They have developed a strong, rigid faith (belief) in an absolute truth that their life is only going to get worse. My job is to confront that belief (not the teen) and have them replace an irrational belief with one powerful word. That word is maybe. Yes, in the word maybe there is an opening for hope.

Up to this point in my career, by God’s grace, I have not had a teen kill themselves. What I have experienced is that through intense, genuine, loving listening, teens begin to build a trust in me which deepens our relationship to the point that the teen puts their faith in me enough to open the door to consider my revelation of the world maybe. Maybe my life will get better. Maybe things are not as bad as I thought. Maybe I have value. Maybe I’m lovable after all.

Did you know that one of the definitions of the word “obey” in scripture is to listen? Dr. Garry Landreth, a very wise Christian man, once said “How can you really love someone you don’t know?” Our sacred scriptures share with us that we have a God who listens. Now can we have enough faith to listen to God?

As a Sunday school teacher, here’s your homework assignment: Google “Lectio Divina” this week and see what you think. God maybe has something to say. I hope you’ll do it. Who you put your faith in matters. Maybe there’s hope after all.

David Hébert, Author