THE NATION YELLS “WHAT IS WRONG?”
I am a product of a fractured generational culture. I have given up.
With the permission of the youth pastor, I went to youth services for several months; engaged some senior ladies to bring cookies. I wanted to join the youth in prayer times, but they were encouraged to pray for each other; they did that. I was defeated. I endured somewhat patiently the loud music; I was met with a tee shirt that said, “If our music is too loud, you are too old.” I was offended.
When the suggestion was made that senior church members, such as veterans, or those who had amazing testimonies of healing or provision, give their stories to the youth groups, it was denied. Anything we could do was replaced by videos.
I read one time that the older generation could cultivate a relationship with the younger people by asking about their tattoos. So I tried. Family reunion of sorts, I seated myself in a room occupied by twenty somethings. There were tattoos, so I boldly said, “I read that I could make acquaintance with younger people by asking about their tattoos. So tell me about yours.” Reply: “If you’re not drunk, you wouldn’t understand.” I’m the persistent sort so I said, “Then ask me a question, and I’ll see where we can go with that.” Response: “Where were you born?” Now that might have been a conversation starter if I had been born in Cuba or Peru, but “Colorado” was not very engrossing. But with my engaging personality (smiles are welcomed right here :D) I developed that answer into a seven minute speech I had recently given to Toastmaster’s Int. and Lo, I was listened to. Never saw that group again, but they probably remember me. Most people at family reunions do. 😀 But young people are scarce at family reunions.
A venture outside the church setting: I wrote a prayer request, typed it in card size and went to the mall and passed it out to teens. On it I told of a run-away teen whose family was hurting. I would say something like this: “Would you read this story, and, if you are a Christian, pray about it. If you are not, maybe it will help you see how much your family probably loves you. Take time to give some love back to them.” I met some sweet kids. One group of four kids looked pretty weird to me. I decided to speak to them anyway. They were polite to me. A few told me they were Christians and they would pray for me. As I said, Precious Kids – who really needed adults to care. That was proof that kids cared and wanted involvement. But I didn’t keep it up. Weather got colder; it got dark too early; the parking lot was scary. I quit.
I asked five teen girls from my church to meet me after church at Braum’s so I could buy them a sandwich. I had no takers, so I gave up, deciding they probably thought I was weird. And I guess I am.
When I told Sammy, he said, “Well, you’re a stranger, aren’t you?” I said, “That’s my point exactly.” I don’t want to be, but I am — a product of a fractured-generation culture.