Turning the Corner

Visiting the Mission Abbey with some youth

A booth set in the middle of a retro diner. The place is quiet. A waitress roams the restaurant, checking on the happy customers.

Two days in a row I had come to this little hole in the wall, each day with a teenager I had been spending a lot of time with. I hadn’t really expected to have the conversations that I was about to enter into. I had been considering when would be a good time to tell these students about a man called Jesus and this diner seemed to be the place that was sanctioned for this divine meeting of sorts.

The first conversation stemmed out of the importance of each person’s life. Do we have purpose? How did we get here? As we tackled these questions throughout the day we came to the diner at the peak of conversation. Now was the time. I asked the teenager what he knew about Jesus and he said not a whole lot, just random information. I asked him if he wanted to hear the story of God and Jesus. Over our lunch we discussed who Jesus is and how he wants a relationship with every individual person, no matter your background and no matter the things you have done. He is actively pursuing all individuals to be in relationship with him. As I shared these truths with the student, their face lit up wanting to know more about the man called Jesus. He has continued to ask questions not only to myself, but also to my coworkers.

Day two I came in with a girl who seemed to be hit by tragedy everywhere she turned. Her story of heart break led us to the darkness she encounters and how she used to pray. We went deeper into both subjects and I asked her if she still prayed. She answered no, but would consider it. I then told her I prayed and I asked if she wanted to know why. I began telling her the story of Jesus; about his love and grace for all of us and how we can go to him with all of our needs and he can handle all of the hard questions, anger and bitterness we have in our hearts. She thoughtfully considered my words and continued to think about it on the car ride home.

Only God knows what the plan is for these two but for now they have an opportunity to know a lasting hope.

- Rachel Tapp


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