Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stories from the Field ...

Micah's body seemed to agitate with that kind of undisciplined nervous energy that wiggles through many 3rd grade boys bodies. You know, where it seems to be a physical impossibility for him to make eye contact and your 200 pound weight difference doesn't seem to help because he doesn't focus long enough to see just how painful it would be if you sat on him?
It was story circle time at a Wednesday night Stockade meeting and the kid just would not sit still or stop talking. Micah was new so Ranger Steve informed Micah that every time Micah spoke, moved, or in any way distracted the other boys he was going to be held back from game time for 1 minute. He quickly racked up ten agonizing minutes that he would have to wait alone with Ranger Steve.

As the story time ended Steve decided to go out on a limb in order to try and teach the boys a double edged lesson on both justice and mercy. Before the other boys ran off to play he told the boys that for every one of them who decided to stay back with Micah he would take a minute off of Micah's time.
The response was not overwhelming. The boys stood there stone silent looking nervously at each other, and Steve started to sweat too. Was this lesson about to backfire? Micah was not an easy boy to love.

If love did show up it was certainly not because Micah deserved it. Steve held his breath. Without warning the tension broke as one boy stepped forward. Then, as Steve's eyes grew wider one after another chose to give up his play time to stand with Micah.
The story could stop there and a bunch of cool lessons could be observed about justice, discipline, love, selflessness, and mercy. And the fact is that Micah's behavior did dramatically improve after that night. But the story gets even better.

The next week a number of boys had chosen to act up and were being held back from their game time. Micah WASN'T one of them. When it was time to get up to go to play, however, Micah stood up and instead of running to the door he walked over to where the boys were, sat down, and chose to wait with them the way that they had waited with him a week before.

Do you see how big this was? Because of the loving discipline of a godly man and a risky real life demonstration of unconditional love, this little boy got to taste mercy.
My first concern is not that this experience made Micah a better person. My prayer is that this first taste of mercy will cause the eyes of his heart to open wide the next time he hears the good news about the great mercy that Jesus showed toward undeserving sinners.

There are lot's of ways for men to invest in the next generation. But if you don't know where to start send me a quick email. I'd love to help you get started!
"No greater love ..."

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