A friend of mine is the chaplain at the maximum security youth detention center in Marietta. She invited me to attend their Christmas party this week and minister with her there. She has people bring homemade cookies for the children….that’s right, I said children. The residents are just children who made poor choices which shaped their path and landed them in the state’s care for some determined amount of time.
As I baked cookies yesterday, decorating them with my daughter, I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone had ever taken the time to bake cookies with any of them. Had anyone ever told them they mattered? Had anyone ever uttered the words “I love you” to them or told them they were special?
I am pretty certain when they entered kindergarten and the teacher asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up, they didn’t respond: “Locked up in a youth detention center.” Circumstances, poor choices, and the enemy on the move is what led to their destination and somewhere along the way, an intervention could have derailed the enemy’s plans.
Look around you. There are people in your path every day who need to hear a kind word, to know they matter, and feel appreciated. Jesus always sought out the lonely, the outcast, the broken hearted. If we are to be like Jesus, then we need to do what He did. In Matthew 25:40 He says, … “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Look for opportunities to be Jesus with skin on for someone today. Look for ways to mess with the enemy’s plans. Be the kind of person that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says, “Oh man, he’s/she’s up!”