"I just don't see how it's possible to see Jesus as a Savior without also seeing Him as Lord."
Those were Victor's words during our last study on the book of Romans. His tone was neither belligerent nor pedantic. Instead, he was intense, somewhat confused - confused by the possibility of a divided Jesus that his own experience just could not concede. His words were less of an argument and more of a testimony. We listened - in silence.
Victor is only fifteen years old. However, it is not his age that really causes the impact of Victor's words to land. I believe it to be his context. Victor lives with a father with significant mental problems. He and his mother struggle to define their family dynamic in the wake of his volatile temperament. Accordingly, peace is an abstraction for Victor. A year ago, these struggles led to his distancing himself from the church. I just don't think he could reconcile the promises of God with the painful reality in which he lives.
Sometime in the last year, God used his youth leader Danielle and the others from our Bible study to demonstrate His love for Victor. Something happened. That something didn't remove him from his painful reality. Instead, it infused hope right into the midst of it. Victor was changed. In the three months I've know him, he has consistently radiated joy, passion and a hunger to learn. I can always expect to get peppered with questions from him on the way to my car - questions like the difference between justification and sanctification or the nature of John's baptism. Victor's love for God renews my own, as I'm hopeful for the generation that He is preparing for Himself.
Pray for this generation. I know that they spend way too much time on Facebook and cannot seem to hold a conversation more than a minute without checking their cellphone. But, I find real reason to hope based in God's faithfulness and their uniqueness.