And the troubled youth ...it is my theme. It is my heart. I don't think there's anything to which I would rather give my life. Turns out, so far, I am loving this year. (There are definitely ups and downs, but I went full force into it expecting that. Hurting people hurt people. I was once hurting myself. I think it's redeeming.)
Speaking of expectations, that is one of my main strategies for coping. I have learned to enter into this work with little to no expectations. It is so much easier to be kind and compassionate when I don't place expectations on the other person. Boundaries, definitely. Expectations, no. When I place expectations on a broken person, I set them up for failure. These kids don't need another opportunity for failure. I get to be the person who says, "You can not care about me all you want, and I will still care about you." (In fact, I did tell a kid that, and I think he was pretty shocked. It's not an attitude you often encounter. Acceptance, sure. Acceptance is the going thing right now. But real, genuine unconditional caring and compassion. That is hard to do.)
Synergy is accepting. Free and uninhibited, accepting. Synergy looks beyond judgment. This is safe. I feel free to do my work and be myself, and I am assured there will be grace for mistakes. I can't get past how very Christlike that is in so many ways. But Synergy is not the church. Preaching is exactly the opposite of what Synergy is about. Synergy is simply a crazy mix of kind people who are willing to put aside fear and judgment to reach out a hand to the lost and broken. Synergy answers the call, when a person is crying out in the night. Synergy offers a place for the broken to lay his head. Rather Good Samaritan-like, don't you think?
And I can't help but get hung up on the fact that Synergy is not the Church. Shouldn't the Church be offering beds to the frightened and abused? Shouldn't the Church be accepting to the lost, the hurting and the broken? Why is it that Synergy is answering the 3 am crisis call and not the body of Christ? I am confused, and I do not know that there is an answer. But it feels like we are going about this all wrong.
Maybe I'm overthinking. I mean...it wouldn't be the first time, and it will not be the last. My wheels are always turning. I just cannot shut down this brain. I am ALWAYS thinking. Every day, every hour, every minute...until I finally just knock myself out.
Recently, I bought a shirt. It says, "Perfect is boring. Be imperfectly you." Sameness is boring. The fact that we are diverse, that makes me happy. Matt is so different from me. I am fast and intense. He is slow and meticulous. I am competitive. He is humble. That is why we work. I don't think it would have worked if he and I were the same. Perhaps it would have been fun and intense, for awhile (or just REALLY SUPER chill and laid back), but I think we would have eventually crashed and burned. We would have missed the important elements that keep us balanced...the parts that allow us each to thrive. And I think we are thriving now. Right? Not perfect. But thriving.
So...change of topic, a bit...my niece was crowned Homecoming Queen this week, and I am balling up on the floor. I cannot believe she is missing this. My sister. High school was HER thing. And she was not here to see her daughter thriving. She is thriving. Her kids are thriving. I am so grateful to watch them thrive. I miss my sister. But I don't think I EVER saw her thrive outside of high school. She has left a thriving legacy, and that is the best tribute these kids could give my love.