“He’s a perv”, one of the girls responded, “God is a perv”. That is quite the statement if you don’t understand the context from where it was coming.
As those who have been brought up in the church, most of us just accept what we are told simply because that is what we are told. This rings true when we discover years later that God has lost His mystery, which is evidenced in that we no longer feel the need to pursue knowing Him. Somehow we have lost a curiosity willing to dig deeper into the stories in Scripture.
The result? We miss out on knowing who He truly is. The fact of the matter is… there are aspects of God’s character that make us as humans uncomfortable.
But you see, this girl, as blunt as she was, is on to something. The stories of the Bible are in their purest of forms… crazy. They are beyond human explanation and live within the unimaginable ways of a higher Creator. This girl was reacting to what she did not understand… a spiritual art that most of us have lost… or are too afraid to pick up.
I did not realize that when I chose to share the story of Christmas… about a virgin giving birth to the long awaited Messiah… that questions and perceptions would arise among teenage girls. I should have. Most of the juvenile detention girls at bible study, by a show of hands, had never heard the Christmas story.
While I found myself too shocked to form immediate words that would put out the fire in this girl’s words; I knew this was a prime opportunity to communicate God for who He really is.
“God does not do things the same way as we do and they are often times hard to understand”, I said looking at her confused face. We proceeded to talk about the character of God and more questions flowed from the other girls.
It does not escape me that however brief or long a time we have with these girls could be the only chance they get to hear the truth about who God is. The times we get to spend with youth in the detention center are opportunities for them to ask questions about God and feel safe doing it. They are opportunities for them to hear… maybe for the first time in their lives… that they have worth and matter greatly to a God who loves them.
I’m thankful to this girl for awakening me to the wonder, and at times, even confusion, within God’s story. It all points to who He truly is.