Raw. Relevant. Real. If I had to use just three words to describe my recent experience in the classrooms of local middle and high schools, it would be those. Though I’ve been teaching some pretty hot topics in these classrooms for four years, I continue to be surprised at how these kids can surprise me. What I learned from them both shocked and saddened me…and reminded me once again of the importance of what we do. These students are no different than young people elsewhere in our community…looking for love, desperate for acceptance, and willing to do just about anything to find it. I was moved by their honesty, challenged by their tough questions, and inspired by their desperation…inspired to make a difference in their world.
In the past month, I’ve had the privilege of teaching in local classrooms on the subjects of fetal development, sexually transmitted infections and abstinence. This year, more than any other, doors have been opened in the public schools for me to speak on these subjects. I can’t underestimate the importance of Clear Choice Clinic offering STI testing and treatment, and how doing that has transformed us into a legitimate educator on this subject. It is, you understand, the only way we will be invited. In our public schools, there is no room for a faith based presentation of morality. And there is absolutely no discussion of abortion. There is, however, the dicey subject of sex that needs to be covered, and very few people qualified and willing to teach it. So I don my trusty lab coat, walk into the lion’s den, and pray for opportunities.
It always feels a little odd at first…uncomfortable. Scary, even. But usually, within minutes of being introduced, we connect. I look these students in the eye, speak to them on their level, make them laugh a bit…and tell them I care about them. And suddenly they sit up a little straighter, look at me with hopeful eyes, and engage. And that’s where opportunity happens. After they know I care. You’d be shocked if I told you the things they share…I am! But my last school visit yielded 5 patient appointments at Clear Choice Clinic. Two possible pregnancies…three STI appointments, and more importantly, real opportunity to share the love of Christ with these students. I can’t do that, using words, at school. But last week at the clinic I had the opportunity to share with two of these girls the truth about a Man who will never ask her to compromise herself to earn his love. I heard a boy, the toughest one in class, say that after learning about fetal development, he’d changed his view of abortion! And I wasn’t even teaching about abortion. Opportunity.
Raw subject matter. Relevant topics. Real, hurting students. And opportunity where my ability meets their need. It’s what He calls us to…and I’m excited about going there.