Tuesday, June 08, 2010

jaded sixth grader

in just a few weeks, i'll be moving to a new town about two hours away.

this means, that on top of saying goodbye to the two churches i've been serving, i must also bid farewell to the beautiful people i've worked with at the local tutoring program.

there were only two goals i set for myself upon leaving seminary and re-entering the real world: 1) to tutor at a local school or community center and 2) sign up for netflix. i decided it would be important to start off with very realistic, achievable goals. =)

netflix has been great. the addition of streaming video through the wii has brought immense joy to my household.

but tutoring has been magnificent. the young girl that i'm assigned to strikes me as a 10 year old version of my beautiful goddaughter and i'm endeared to her immediately. the two hours of tutoring a week quickly becomes a source of joy in an increasingly busy schedule filled with church work and church people.

(author's note: grr...i typed out a long dialogue, but it wasn't saved in time.)

last week, as we were waiting for the end-of-the-year festivities to begin, i struck up a conversation around bella and edward and how their twilight romance is moving into real life. (i made sure she knew that it was great for her to be reading "twilight" books at age 11...21 and over? not so much.) i expressed my concern that they might just be caught up in the production of it all and that they don't have what it takes to last.

here's the line that sunk my heart: "they'll probably just get divorced in two weeks anyway. it's not a big deal."

"that doesn't make you sad?" i asked. "no. my cousin married this guy and got divorced two months later. it's not a big deal."

not a big deal?! what could this sweet child have seen and experienced that would make her think that divorce is not a big deal?!?

i pushed it out of my thoughts as we celebrated her and other hard-working students that evening, but since that night, i've been haunted by her sweet smile and innocent expressions nonchalantly conveying her truth: that divorce is nothing new.

i hope that divorce does not become part of my lived reality - but for now, i'm having a hard enough time finding a date! much more a partner to covenant with!
i wonder what's to keep me from being as jaded and cynical as this child though...it's not like i have someone to come home to - to physically remind me that i have committed to be present, to be vulnerable, again and again, day after day. that after the haze of twilight fades, the commitment that i've made to another still remains.

of course i'm being overly dramatic.

someday i'll look back on all these entries and wonder why in the world i was so caught up in love, the search for it, the readiness for it, etc. but until that day, my prayer for both myself and this beautifully gifted child is that we would unlearn some cynical thoughts...and also be open to new understandings of what it means to be saved by love.


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