I take kids from the soccer league from one neighborhood to Church of the Apostles on Wednesday nights. I have been doing this for about three years now. It is always fun when a kid comes with us for the very first time. We love to expose them to what we do every single week and the kids that have kept coming are very proud to show the new kids the traditions and how we go about the evening.
This little girl was introduced to me from the neighborhood and she wanted to build a relationship with me and her mom called me to see if i could start engaging with her. So i invited her to come to church with us so she could get exposed to church and also the soccer league. She is a cute little petite girl, mild mannered and soft spoken. I didn't have any trouble out of her. I brought her several weeks in a row and still I had no trouble out of her! It was amazing to see how excited and simple her joy was. One week I was looking at the craft she made and I said, aren't you so excited to go home and show your mom and step dad what you have done at church? But she looked at me and said, he's nothing to me. I thought i didn't hear her correctly, so i asked her to repeat herself and sure enough she said, he is nothing to me. I can only assume she was talking about her step dad, because she went on to talk about a previous step dad of hers and her biological father. It hit me hard to the core.
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19, I saw this little girl and the innocence in her eyes, how young she was and how in a lot of ways it has been taken from her. Her innocence is stripped through these heart breaks of these men in her life that she sees are the ones responsible for her and should be there but they are not. To the point where she has completely written them off to say, "He means nothing to me."
I look at the gospel and I look at our heavenly father and how he fills all the gaps that our hearts cannot fill on its own. i look at her and i get so excited to about the opportunity to show her Christ's love, the way God has demonstrated his love for me through his son Jesus. It reminds me of why I am out there kicking the soccer ball around and taking the kids to church every week. Just to be a conduit of God's love to his children in the midst of heartbreak and times where it doesn't feel like it will get any better.
Thank you for allowing me to share this experience with you. Go out there and make a difference by encouraging those around you to love others the way Christ has loved us.
Urban Soccer League Director
- See more at: http://fcaurbansocceratl.org/story-time-he-first-loved-us#sthash.bc09TmaB.dpuf