Anger vs. Empathy
He’s come on and off. More often than not we had to tell him he just could not come. We wanted him there but he was so disrespectful, so distracted, ready to fight or swear at you and it was fueled by anger. Trey started at Center for Champions when he was in 1st grade. At first, he was very quiet and displayed what one might call “odd” behavior.
Over time, he got comfortable and he displayed more and more rage. Someone who just met him might discard him or would, at the very least, be very frustrated by his behavior. No talking to, whether firm and authoritative or gentle and nurturing seemed to help.
But we’ve gotten to know and understand the root of a lot of Trey’s anger. Sadly, his situation seems to be getting more common. His mom is overwhelmed and has deep struggles of her own to deal with. His father is not in the picture. In fact, I don’t know that Trey has met his father even once. His behavior pushes everyone away so that even siblings are constantly mad and annoyed. It can seem hopeless for sure. But we’ve learned to feel empathy rather than anger. Once you’ve seen what we’ve seen, it’s hard not to.
We are at the point again where we cannot have Trey at Rooted. We want him there but we also need to consider what is best for the group. We’ve seen kids like Trey pull many others down.
So what do we do? Give up? No way! Mentor! We get Trey matched Life on Life with a mentor. The good news is I believe we’ve found one. Is it a quick cure and do we expect instant change in Trey’s life? Absolutely not. Things may even get worse for a time. Often, kids will try to sabotage a relationship just to see if the mentor will hang around or give up proving to themselves that no one wants them. We may get frustrated but here is what we know as a fact. Jesus pursues us! We push Him away again and again and again. But he never stops pursuing. No other god does this. For us, as believers, to stop pursuing would be hypocritical. To call a situation hopeless would be devastating. Thank God that Jesus doesn’t do that. Our sin was so great but He loved us so much that He pursued us to the point of death.
I don’t know what will happen with Trey but I am hopeful because we serve a God who is in the business of pursuing and redeeming those whom he calls his own children.