“We Are Coo Right?”

Posted on by COYFC

by Katie Snell
Working at the City Life Center is not as glorious as the cute Instagram pictures that I post of the students here. Often times it is hard. Each student comes to the Center with a unique packaged history and baggage and ideas about the world and God. Sometimes that package has a "trust issue" bow that looks like staying quiet, refusing to offer up information, and keeping distance. Other times the package has a "I want you close but I'm gonna push you away" bow that looks like outbursts of anger, hateful words, physical violence, and shredding of your character. I have experienced both and I have been both. 
I want to share about a specific student. He has been coming to the center for at least 6-7 years. This kid has tested my patience more than any other student (except maybe the one that slapped me in my face, but that's for another blog). He has been asked to leave for disrespectful behavior on multiple occasions. He's been in the middle of drama and instigated problems with other students. I'm not going to lie, I have had to apologize to this student for feeling hopeless and even verbally expressing how frustrated I was with him.  We have seen the worst of this kid. He for sure has the second bow (described above). But, he has suffered. He has a tough life. His behavior makes sense. It is an outward expression of his inner most being. And we have had the opportunity to allow him to experience Grace. Sweet, sweet Grace. 

You see, we should have given up on him. We should have kicked him out the 128th time that he yelled at a staff member or refused to listen. You know, according to the world. But, because Jesus has never given up on us, we get to share that Grace with this student. We get to offer forgiveness the way Jesus explained to Peter ... 
 "Then Peter came to him and asked,
 “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me?
 Seven times?” 
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!" (Matthew 18:21-22) 
This isn't an exact calculation or trust me, I'd be beyond forgiveness and so would this student. Even he felt as if he was beyond forgiveness. In fact, he had to check:
I think about all the times I wondered if me and God were cool? Did I finally do the thing that is unforgiveable, did I cross the line for the last time? Has He had enough of my sin yet? Did He throw in the towel? Am I just too much? 
No. When we are utterly hopeless, He shows up.... 
"When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.  Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (Romans 5:6-8)

What a sweet experience…that we were pursued as sinners…that we GET to love this "unlovable" student. That he could SEE a difference. That he knows that we didn't give up on him because Jesus isn't giving up on him.
Not ever.
We are coo. Because Jesus says we are coo. Because of the cross. Sweet, sweet Grace and because of Grace, we just might get to see the best of this student! 
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