Yesterday, I had the opportunity to check in with one of the first kids I ever met while hanging out in the basement at Hosea Youth Services, his name is Trevor. Out of respect for his privacy, I’m not going to share the particulars of our conversation, just how much I enjoyed talking to such an amazing young man. This conversation started off as a kid who doesn’t come around more than delivering a cake for dinner, and poking his head in on an old crowd. You could sense with him both a distinct gratitude, and a distinct discomfort. He told me he felt like he didn’t belong there, I told him I felt the same exact way, and so we sparked up a conversation. Trevor is one of those kids that I would never really describe as a Hosea kid, and if you asked him, I don’t think he would either. With an extremely unique upbringing, and such a warm heart and spirit, he really does stand out among a culture that is unlike most that I’ve ever experienced with our kids.

He talked about that culture as a street impacted individual, as one he could never really fit with. What was really amazing is he didn’t negatively pinpoint individual people, behaviors, or patterns, as you would maybe expect, but just saw them as different. He sees a lot of things in this world as much different than you and I would. He described three of the most unhealthy things as condemnation, complaining, and criticism (in that order). The dude is smart, he’s charismatic, and extremely respectful. He also revealed something in my heart that is so common for me in that basement, it’s sick: agenda. Here I was having really a joyous conversation with a kid, who in all honesty, take our backgrounds out of it, shared a lot of similar interests and thoughts that I do. We’re talking, getting a chance to know each other, and I could not help that thoughts creep in about “leading Trevor to Jesus”. I wish I could tell you they were from a pure place in my heart, like I was about to share Jesus with a friend, but it was more along the lines of this pressure, that sometimes we as ministers of the gospel face, to produce. It took me out of the conversation and into a place in my mind, and I don’t think that’s ever where Jesus calls us to go.

I had to leave mid conversation with Trevor, to go address a different need. I hope for a chance to speak to him again soon. He, like many of us, in that short conversation expressed a series of questions that I ask myself very frequently. Who am I? Am I just a fleshy biological animal? What do I really know? I hope that some day Trevor may be introduced to He who has those answers. To He who knows everything Trevor ever did. To Him, who is the lover of Trevor’s soul. Jesus’ agenda wasn’t to convert, but to love, and I’m really thankful for that reminder.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. ~John 15:9 

~Zack Leiken, Drop-In Center Staff

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