Back when I was a youth pastor, I was younger and so full of hope. I was bright, optimistic and ready to take on the world. I guess anyone would be like that in my position. Life and goodness had been handed to me.
It took a couple years, but life finally reared its ugly head for me to see. Limitation, wickedness and irrevocability have been prevalent. The worst has shown it can get worse.
And now every time I try to put me back into the same place in the puzzle of youth ministry, I can’t do it. I am a puzzle piece who has changed shape. I keep trying to envision how I can fit myself back into the game but I feel like an athlete being sent into a game where there is no position for me. There has been no fit.
I keep wondering what God could ever do with a heart like mine...
until I was struck with a thought.
Imagine a little boy picking a handful of dandelions for his mother. He picks one and then another, and keeps picking them until his excitement to actually give them to her grows so great that he can pick dandelions no longer. He runs to her while cradling his prize and gives them to her with a beaming smile. She holds them to her heart because it’s the greatest gift… a gift from his heart. More precisely, I think, it is a gift of his heart.
Let’s face it. Dandelions are a bright yellow for a couple days before they turn to annoying white puffs and spread like, well, weeds.
But she sees love where anyone else would see weeds. The gift of the boy’s heart is made complete only in his mother’s eyes.
See the thing is that all I have ever wanted is to give my heart to God. Ever since I have seen more weeds grow in my heart, I thought God wouldn’t want me anymore.
Perhaps the things which I feel are weeds are the exact things which He wants from me. And then He will be the one to transform them into love.