This last week I spent a lot of time going over intake referrals for the drug rehab I work at. One of them touched my heart and honestly I want to bring this girl in. I know she’s a brat. I know she can be angry and violent. She probably spits and cusses and is basically messed up. If we brought her in she would probably hate us for doing it, would fight us. I want her anyway.
When I read about what she’s been through I don’t blame her for being angry. It breaks my heart to read about her hanging with older men who ‘comfort’ her, the only comfort she’s known aside from her drugs. It breaks my heart to read about her isolation, her hopelessness, her fatalism.
I want to bring her in to a place of safety where she can discover how truly loveable and wonderful she is. I want to see her explore her creativity, her leadership, her tenderness, all that she is. I want her to learn to value who she is. I want all of that.
Truth is, she might be beyond what we can do at this facility. We have had kids there before who were too tough, too hurting, for us to deal with. There have been times when it seemed like nothing we could do would convince some of these kids that they were safe, that they had value and worth, that we cared, that they were beloved children of God. There have been times we failed.
I want to try anyway. I want to give her a chance and if she does come we’ll practice patience, and offer silent prayers, and set boundaries to keep her safe. We will laugh with her and play games. We will listen and hold her truth sacred. And I don’t care if she comes in blowing her emotional snot all over; kids who have been deeply and truly hurt often do. I just want her to have a chance and I know, from what I’ve read, she doesn’t have a lot of chances left.
I don’t have any easy answers. There is a lot of brokenness in the world and it seems to hit the most vulnerable among us especially hard. I take courage in the fact that there are places like this rehab and that they are staffed with truly caring, skilled, and talented individuals. Today I feel especially blessed to be able to be a part of this. This, to me, is what ministry is all about.