The plight of teenagers who have run away from home without any resources and become homeless has come home to us in the form of one Miriam, who is the granddaughter of Tim and Cindy, MemberPartners of the Catch who live in Indiana. For the last few days we have had a Catch Alert out for Miriam because we have Catch readers all over the country and you never know how God might work to put one of them in Miriam’s path.
Miriam left her home in Virginia and ended up with grandparents in Kansas City, but has since left there with little or nothing but the clothes on her back — no money, cell phone, credit card or ID. When we heard there was a rumor she might be headed for Colorado or California, we called our good friend Robbie Goldman, head of Dry Bones, Denver, a team of people reaching out to the homeless kids in the downtown section of that city, to alert him to be on the lookout for Miriam. Robbie said an amazing thing. He said if she gets to Denver, there is a very strong chance they will find her.
How can he be so confident they will find Miriam in such a large city? What brings an 18-year-old from a loving family to do something like this? What kind of danger does a person like this face? What should we do if we rub up against someone like Miriam? What can we do, if anything? What kind of resources are there in other cities and towns across the country to help with kids like Miriam? These and other questions will be part of our interview with Robbie on BlogTalkRadio tonight at 6pm PDT. You will definitely want to hear this interview, and if you can’t listen tonight at 6pm PDT, you can go to blogtalkradio.com/thecatch any time after the show where you will find this, and all our shows over the past two years, as podcasts.
We’ve been sensitized by this one case to have our eyes open and our ears to the ground. If it were your child or grandchild, wouldn’t you want someone looking out for him/her? Together we make a pretty big team. What a difference a name makes. It’s no longer just a nameless invisible person; it might be Miriam, and that makes all the difference in the world.
This will mean, of course, stepping inside their shoes. What we as adults might perceive as a loving, supportive environment for an 18-year-old, might be perceived quite differently by the 18-year-old. You never really know what a young person — what anyone, for that matter — is thinking. That’s why we must get good at listening. I have a 17-year-old who perceives the world so differently from me that I sometimes think we’re not talking about the same planet. What is contained in his thinking is beyond my control. What is under my control is trying to find out, so I want to listen better; ask other people; read about his generation; do whatever I can to stand in his shoes and see the world through his eyes. What does the world look like to him? What do I look like to him? This is perhaps the biggest challenge of all in parenting/grandparenting. To not care about this is to run up the white flag on a generation gap. Most people do it, but do you really want to?