Posted: January 5, 2012 in Uncategorized
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The Ultimate Hope Dealer

In every workshop I teach, I show this image and ask: “Tell me what do you SEE in this picture?” Many point out the obvious – a gun, a thug, Jesus, a crossroads. Others see acceptance, compassion, mercy, forgiveness and love.

My next question  is “Tell me what you FEEL.” The audience gets quiet as they get in tune with the not-so-obvious side of themselves. I have had many cry, many not able to find words…and others who share they feel love, shame (on themselves), joy, and hope. Yes, hope.

Every time I see this picture, I am moved…I am moved to great emotion and moved to action. It is a reminder of why I do what I do…and a reminder of my prayer for every kid I encounter: HOPE IN JESUS CHRIST. The hope that anyone can come as they are, that He will not turn you away but embrace, love and forgive you. It’s a picture of hope for the one who thinks He is alone and not worth a second, third or 1 millionth chance. The fact that this image of Jesus is the same skin color as the young man is not a religious, historical fact…but rather a loud statement that YOU are created in His image for a purpose greater than the choices we have made.

A HOPE DEALER sees all of this in this picture and more…

A HOPE DEALER understands that you can’t judge a book by its cover but you also can’t judge a book by its first chapter. Whatever that first chapter is, we need to help youth close that chapter and then begin again! (Father Boyle)

A HOPE DEALER believes in the possibility and potential of every kid, no matter what it looks like… because the Hope Dealer themselves are counting on that same hope.

A HOPE DEALER is willing to go where needed (where most fear to go), do what it takes to be a light in a kid’s darkness. Drug dealers do! So why do we shrink at the thought of reaching out to the same people?

A HOPE DEALER doesn’t just deal hope but walks life with these youth as the hope manifests itself in their heart, mind and path.

But mostly, A HOPE DEALER knows hope and peace can only be found in, through and from God – not in anything we can do or say. Our hope is that we are forgiven, we are loved and we have a purpose that only we can fulfill.

A HOPE DEALER understands that, until a youth is ready, WE are the example of Christ’s chase-them-down-pursuing-them-at-all-costs kind of love.


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