Continuing to read The Last Christian Generation I came across this quote that serves as a powerful example of how to be a mentor to lost youth (or really anyone) today. It is long, but definitely worth reading.
During World War II, men left their young families and were sometimes gone for years. Many small children grew up not knowing their fathers. Picture the scene of a four-year-old girl named Sarah whose daddy had been off to war for over two years. Little Sarah didn’t remember her daddy, but her mother had been diligent about making his reality alive in her mind. She told her little girl how daddy still provided money for their house, clothes, and food. She read her his letters containing endearing expressions of love for his daughter. Those letters also asked Sarah to be brave while he was gone and to help mommy by hanging up her clothes and picking up her toys. He admonished her to be kind to the neighbor children when she played and to always say her prayers at night.
The mother spent time explaining to Sarah what her daddy was like – of his providing and protecting nature, his caring love, his honesty and integrity, his sense of honor and duty to family and country. She let her daughter know how deeply in love she was with Sarah’s father. Sarah’s mother guided her young daughter in knowing how to respond to such a loving father when he returned from the war.
Then one day, Sarah’s mother announced that her father was coming home. The little girl was overjoyed. She couldn’t wait to see in person the man she had only seen in pictures. And when she met him at the airport, she ran eagerly to his open arms. She responded with love to her father because she had been taught how to love him by someone who knew and loved him herself.
When I read this, I cannot help but picture one of the students in the youth group coming to realization that God loves her and desires her reciprocated love more than anything. I close my eyes and imagine her running into God’s open arms.
More than anything, I want to be like this mother in the story – sharing the Heavenly Father with her. My prayer is that my love for God will overflow into her life. I desperately wanted to discover more of God’s nature so that I can properly share it with this young girl and the other students in the youth group.