Friday, July 20, 2007


I've been mentoring a teenage girl. Her name is Erica. We've been trying to do some Bible study online. I didn't really know how to start this study, unguided by any specific book other than the Bible. Erica has been to a few of our teen events and comes to Teen Girl Squad regularly, but she's not a member, and her parents aren't either. I'm trying to think back to being fourteen, to the sorts of things I was wondering about; at fourteen, I had just started occasionally attending church with the young man who would grow up to become my husband. I still was a pretty serious non-believer. Erica says she knows she needs to be baptized, but she needs to study more before she feels ready. I remember that stage--I was about seventeen. What, then, do you want to know, Erica? Where should we start? "I just want to know more about God, and what we can do to make God happy."

That's a question I really haven't thought about in a while--it's both very simple and very complex. I started with the simple answer--the greatest command. God is all about love. I wrote her a rather long email on that. If she ever writes me back, we'll take a nice long look at the Sermon on the Mount. What makes God happy? Peacemakers.

I don't really know how to give her the answers she's looking for. I get the feeling she wants kind of a shortcut--one that doesn't involve the text. She won't get it out of me, poor thing. We've been studying the Sermon on the Mount, and she writes, "I know I'm supposed to like the people I hate, but how do I do that exactly?"

I wish I knew...I guess it's trying to see their humanity and their beauty despite their flaws...but it's not easy.

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