a guiding verse for ys

on tuesday, while i was praying and reading some psalms, i asked god to give me a verse that would be visiony for ys. this kind of ‘give me a verse’ prayer isn’t normal for me, really. but a few minutes later i was flipping through ecclesiastes, and this verse jumped out at me:

Ecclesiastes 8:1

Who is like the wise man?
Who knows the explanation of things?
Wisdom brightens a man’s face
And changes its hard appearance. (NIV)

Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter?
A man’s wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam. (NASB)

There’s nothing better than being wise,
Knowing how to interpret the meaning of life.
Wisdom puts light in the eyes,
And gives gentleness to words and manners. (The Message)

this is who i want ys to be. i want us to be wise; i want us to tell the truth about the love and grace of god, about god’s passion for youth workers; i want us to ‘know how to interpret the meaning of life’ — specifically in the arenas of teenagers, working in churches, and engaging youth culture. and i long for that wisdom to continue to bring light to the eyes of youth workers around the world. i long for ys to help bring a gentleness to youth workers and youth ministry (not a word normally associated with either ys or youth ministry!). bright faces and soft appearances — what a beautiful result of wisdom; and how opposite of what we often see in the church, especially in this age of line-drawing and arguments and accusations and orthodoxy-police. yes: wisdom that results in gentleness. that’s what i long for — in me, and in ys.

4 thoughts on “a guiding verse for ys”

  1. My Grandpa would applaud your new quest. One of his favorite verses was Proberbs 15:1…

    A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

    …Something I need to learn.

  2. You hit the nail on the head. I’ve literally just discovered the same AWESOME relationship between wisdom and gentleness. Last night, I went to my weekly ministry as a volunteer at our local Juvenile Detention Center. One of the girls I have been meeting with has been through a true hell on earth. The only way she feels like she can connect with her mom is by shooting up together and then her mom hides her stash on her daughter, thus “Amy” (the daughter) winds up in trouble. Her dad walked out on her when she was young (he still calls her to tell her how “worthless” she is without him) and she has been abused and out of all this, I was told that she has an anger problem (duh, I would too). I’ve been working with her for the past three weeks…the first time we met she was in lock down because she popped the head off the sprinkler system. We got to talking and I just listened. The only words I shared with her were from the Bible…her favorite being Psalms 121. Last night, she came in wearing a different color shirt (thus meaning she was going up in level and getting more respect). She was calm, cool and collected. She looked at me and smiled (it was the first time I saw her do that). I smiled back and we talked. At the end of our conversation I asked her why the change…why the smile…what’s up with this difference? Her response was easily understood…”It’s Wednesday Bethany. I know you will be here for me and I know I can count on that…and God too. It kinda calms me down, you know? Like, its something I haven’t had before and I don’t know what it is, but I like it. Even the other girls come to me for advice now and I just show them the pages (Bible pages) that you showed me.” I ended by telling Amy that the feeling, the comfort and trust she now had was from God and how wisdom comes from Him alone. She will be leaving the JDC soon for a foster care situation and the girl still has a smile on her face. What a life lesson. I’ll send the passage on to her so she can pass it to all she sees. Thanks Marko.

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