Sometimes I forget just how powerful social interaction can be. As someone who works with teenagers, I overlook the power of a smile. I don't put enough value on being excited to see one of my students when they walk in the door of my classroom. I forget that the response I give my teens is what makes them feel welcome in my presence. It is what makes them feel loved. My response can also be the thing that could make them feel ashamed, worthless, or just downright unlovable.
We are wired for relationships. It doesn't matter if we are 4, 14 or 44, we all desire deep relationships where we feel valued and appreciated. Relationships matter. Whether it be with your teacher, your spouse, your kid or the kid down the street. Take a look at the video above and you'll see exactly what I am talking about. Even a toddler loves relationships and a positive social interaction.
Jesus knew this. He valued people who were sometimes overlooked. It's really easy to give love and attention to the straight-A student or the all-star athlete. It's not too easy to give that same love to the kid who is apathetic or the one who just threw a spitball at your head. I'm going out on a limb here, but I think Jesus knew a thing or two about relationships. I bet He could disarm someone with his joyful smile. I am thinking His laugh could make anyone feel right at home. I am guessing that His eyes were so sincere you had no choice but to melt in His peaceful presence. Think of the Woman at the Well or the Zacchaeus the Tax Collector. These people were looked down upon in their society. They were judged. They probably didn't have too many friends. But Jesus treated them different. He welcomed them. He cared for them. He spoke truth over them. Jesus valued those who were overlooked. In fact, it is who he came to save.
Here at Forerunner, loving relationships and positive social interactions are what we're all about. Some of the kids that we deal with here in Lake Highlands don't have too many loving relationships. They don't get a ton of positive social interactions. They walk around with their head down all day with a scowl on their face. And this breaks my heart. It really does.
The good news is that Jesus has come to replace the bad with the good. We have an opportunity to love the kid who doesn't feel loved. We have a chance to smile at the kid who hasn't seen too many smiles. We are fortunate enough to bring the joy of Jesus to a kid who doesn't get the chance to experience joy all that often.
The power of relationships can change someone's life. Smiling. Encouraging. Loving. Laughing. These are the things of Jesus Christ. And these are the things that Forerunner wants to bring to some of our kids in our Lake Highlands community.
We have the opportunity to change lives for the better. Won't you join us?