It's Friday, I'm recovering from one of the worst 24-hour illnesses I've had in years, and the last thing I wanted to do was stay after school for several hours. So, when one of my students walked in and reminded me that I was supposed to help him with his project (which was due DAYS ago), my stomach sank a little, realizing that the other work I desperately needed to do was going to have to wait. I had been looking forward to getting my grading done, grabbing a pumpkin spice latte, and strolling the streets of Harlem while listening to Andy Mineo's new mix tape (which you should definitely click on the previous text and download for FREE if you haven't done so already). I'm into these long walks around the city, especially when it's in neighborhoods God has laid upon my heart.
So, I begrudgingly pulled up a desk for my kid, and set my computer up on another desk, while I walked him through the beginning steps of his project. I decided to put on some Jesus hip-hop in the background (which I like to do during class sometimes), and after a few minutes discussion on our favorite rap artists and some reminiscent late-90s Cash money "I'm from New Orleans, I knew 'bout Lil wayne before you were born, and this is what we do" moments, we bonded over a love of all things hip hop, and I put on the aforementioned mix tape. I've always struggled with the fact that I absolutely love the sounds and beats and hooks and such of hip hop, but the language and themes drive me nuts, so when I discovered the amazingness of legit Gospel Hip Hop, it was like an answered prayer. I now like to share. The Westbank in me is very thankful. I shared with him my thoughts on this music, and how I like it better because the talent is the same, but the message is so much sweeter. We continued to listen, and he jammed along.
So now to the point. A few minutes in, while he's working on his project, the kid turns to me as I'm grading timelines, and says "You know, sometimes I wonder about God. Like, how is it possible that he like, created everything but like, he was never created?"
Floored moment. Quick prayer.
I proceeded to answer him in my best "we can't put God into our human box and try to rationalize him, he's way bigger than us," explanation. He then pressed on with a variety of other questions like, "So if he's God, how could he just suddenly turn himself into like, bones and skin and organs n stuff and put himself inside Mary?" and "If this guy can save the universe, why would he let himself die and get beaten?"
This conversation lasted for about half an hour. I don't have time to put everything into details, but suffice it to say, I got to do some seriously awesome sharing in this time. I got to share about how amazing Jesus's love for us truly was, and how he GAVE HIMSELF so that we wouldn't have to suffer - and that our stupid ways put him in that position. We talked about heaven and hell and spiritual warfare. We talked about Grace, and forgiveness, and good and evil. He had some fantastic stories and thoughts to share. I was so blessed by this conversation.
I was completely floored by the way God opened up doors today.
I think my favorite question was "Well, how do you KNOW he's real? Like, what makes you feel so confident that God is there?" which allowed me to share the amazing things he's done for me, and how his Holy Spirit is living, breathing, and flowing through my life.
So amazing. This kid's an aspiring rapper, and has shared some pretty creative and clever rhymes with me in the past few weeks. I'm so thankful that there are guys out there with the same talents as this kid who use their talents for his Glory so they can specifically reach this group of people, and seeing as how these are my kids, I am more than thankful for their willingness to serve in this way.
I'm also really thankful I didn't dart out the door and grab that latte this afternoon. This was soooo much sweeter.