He recognized the challenges we deal with every day. poverty. language barriers. race. academic deficits. they are challenges that we use as qualifiers, even with the best of intentions (i.e. yeah, she isn't proficient, but she's a language learner. or he has such-and-such behavior issue, but it's to be expected coming from a home situation like his). these qualifiers are never meant to excuse a behavior or a trait, merely to help explain or shed some light. nonetheless, they often times list like an asterisk, marring the simple identity of "child."
Rich spoke, admonishing that no matter the situation, no matter the challenge, when that child walks into our room, those labels should fall off at the threshold. It is no longer, "you are broken," but instead, "you are mine."
Immediately, I was hit with the deeper truth: that that is exactly what the Lord sees in and says about us.
I was also hit with the gravity and grace in which has been entrusted to me to steward well. I have the unique honor of imitating the forgiving, grace-filled, blindly-loving Father for these children.
We come to him with our poverty, our bruises, our broken hearts and weary souls. We come dirty and deprived. And as we enter into His presence, as we cross that threshold to the throne, it all sloughs off. and He doesn't see us for the laundry-list of items we aren't. He sees us as His, as He comforts us and reminds us, "You are Mine."