In the past couple weeks, I have ridden in the back of a cop car, sat at a police station for hours in a tiny holding room, and been to jail three times. I know, I know, I need to get my act together.
Of course, my jail time was due to visiting girls or speaking and playing music, and my run in with the cops was spent being a support for a girl who was a victim of trafficking. But I have really found God using all these events to really open up my eyes.
Nearly every time before I go on a call to accompany a victim of trafficking or I stand in front of one girl, or a group of girls, I feel a bit apprehensive beforehand. I never know what to expect.
What will the girl be like? What will she think of me? And how can I possibly help her after all she has been through when I haven’t been through anything like it?
Then there is the added uncertainty of always being accompanied by officers carrying guns and being buzzed in and out of every room that makes it feel far from a day at the office.
But every single time, I have been shocked by the response. Not because the response has been shocking, but because the response is nearly the same, if not better than any of the kids I have worked with in the past. I’ve done hundreds of concerts all over the United States and I have never quite had as captive of an audience, or as loud of cheers as I got the last two days when I played for a group of girls in jail.
You think of girls in jail for a good portion of their adolescent life and you probably imagine girls who are tough, intimidating and disrespectful, just as I did. Now, I'm sure they have their moments given all that they have been through. But after we gave our presentation today, one of the girls raised her hand and said to us,
“I just wanted to thank you guys for coming here today and teaching us these things. I know I learned a lot. But it also just means a lot to us that you even care, cause a lot of people just don’t care about kids who be locked up.”
I am beginning to see that deep down; all of us really are the same. These girls I have been working with lately may have more colorful language, speak in a different cadence and be in a totally different situation than I have ever been in. But the truth is, they want the same things that I do.
They want to be loved.
They want to be accepted.
They want to know someone cares.
We over-complicate things too much and stress ourselves out for no good reason. We don’t have to have all the answers, we don’t have to know all the right things to say. We don’t even have to dress, look or act anything like them.
We simply need to be someone who genuinely cares. Because as it turns out, none of us are so different after all.