I really am a rubbish blogger huh?! I had so many blogs I meant to put up and time never allowed. Anyway, having just come back from France (where I meant to do an excellent blog on rich people and my own attitude) I saw the front page of the Herald yesterday. This gives a brief summary of the article. A guy of 20, with several family issues, worked hard and applied for loads of jobs and didn’t get any. In desperation he took his own life. It’s immensely sad and reminds me seriously of why we want to build a youth and community centre. This was just a few miles away in Greenock. The subtitle for the front-page article was “No Hope at 20!” Isn’t that what Ephesians was saying, that before we were saved, we were without hope and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:12).
I’m sure there’s more to it than just not having work. He has left children and it is just outstanding that in fact this sort of incident is just not outstanding. Young people are becoming increasingly desperate. There’s another article about self-harm in the same day’s news. If we don’t have something to say for this generation who does? Are we the sort of people who lament the downfall of humanity (which incidentally has been going on since men first sinned) or do something to change it. I’m not talking about legal reform, or legislation or government investment or community development, I’m talking about a real church bringing hope to lives. Do we believe there is more to life?
A few years ago as a youth worker, I was walking to the door after setting up for a youth event. On the other side of the glass doors ‘waiting’ to get in were a horde of young people, throwing rubbish, shouting loudly and being foolish. My heart sank, but as I walked those few steps to the door, I thought how everyone else thought the same and treated them the same, as a nuisance and a pest. Even many of their parents magnified their faults and minimised their joys. I decided I would be different. I opened the door with joy, smiled at them, invited them in warmly. I know they’d eat my food and drink my juice. I know they’ll throw stuff and I’ll spend quite a while cleaning up. But they’re worth it. And I don’t mean that in a shampoo advert kind of way. Each one of those guys I worked with is a stunning piece of God’s handiwork. His artistry is immense.
I am sad about that young man in Greenock, trying not to be a waste of space. God made him and he never was a waste. Maybe there’ll be another young man in a few years’ time who’ll come to the same crossroads and will make a different choice because some people at the Gateway place showed him he was worth something and he had hope he didn’t know he had. Maybe we can’t reform a nation or a community, but maybe we can rescue some people. Maybe if we rescue enough, we can bring change, but we must believe that God designed every inch of every heart.