The government of Mali gave French president François Hollande a camel for helping them repel Islamist rebels. The president was not able to transport the camel home, so he entrusted its care to a local family until he could make arrangements to bring the gift home. The Malian government was embarrassed to discover that the family entrusted with the camel’s care later ate it! Upon the discovery of the eaten gift, the Malian government promised the French president a bigger and better camel hoping to redeem an awkward situation. I’m serious.
I heard coverage of this story on the radio yesterday after dropping my son off at school. I couldn’t help but think this isn’t the first time someone entrusted another to care for a gift only to have that trust broken (or, in this case, eaten)!
I’m about to Jesus Juke, but stay with me…
Everyday teenagers take the gift of love and give their heart to someone, only to have their heart returned to them in pieces.
Everyday teenagers take the gift of friendship and dive head first into relationships, only to be pushed out by the same group of friends that once invited them in.
Everyday teenagers take the gift of honesty and share things about themselves, only to have trust shattered into a million pieces. Instead of support and acceptance, they receive disappointment and rejection.
We all know teenagers who have entrusted people with these gifts. Like president François, they’ve discovered that trust is easily broken.
When a series of broken trust inflicts hurt and confusion on the teens we know, we must encourage them not to lose trust and hope in God.
+Allow God to love through you as a reminder that God can be trusted with their heart, their friendships, and their faith.
+Demonstrate God’s unfailing love and restore their hope in the church by facilitating healthy and inclusive community. God can use you to restore a broken heart.
When gifts are stolen, God graciously restores what was lost. In Christ all things are made new. Hurting teens are seeking restoration. May they find restoration through the body of Christ.