Jesus PrayerOur house is rapidly turning into the hang out for my son’s friends. I work from home which you might think would cramp their style, teen boys that they are. But even the boys who could stay home with no parents and no supervision, end up over here.

The funny thing is that I’ve never had a boy related problem although I have had problems with a parent or two. Once in a blue moon, I’ve had a mom point out that she wouldn’t let this kid or that kid hang out at her house. “He’s a little rough.” “His mother has a past.”

The thing is, I look beyond the sins of their fathers and their mothers. I look at more than their big, gruff demeanors.

Instead, I get to know the boys. The kitchen opens into the family room so I can ask them questions while I’m fixing them something to eat. And God always helps me see them as who they are – His Children.

Given how judgmental adults can be, I shouldn’t be surprised when every now and then one of the boys deiced to test me and see if I’m one of those adults. “Yeah, I’ve only been in the area for a couple of years. When I was in grade school, Mom got into drugs and moved us to Hannibal. Now I’m back with my dad. I hate Hannibal.”

I’d love to say that I came up with something brilliant. That’s what I’d like to say, but I’m not that smooth. “I’ve been to Hannibal.” Genius. Pure genius.

Yet, somehow I passed the test. Although he had to leave briefly after dinner, he came back for three more hours.  He told my son he wants to hang out this summer.  When he left, he shook my hand and my husband’s hand and thanked us for our hospitality.

Many of these boys aren’t perfect, but then neither am I. I just hope that they can hold off judging me. After all, we are all God’s children, flawed but loved. All that God asks is that we love each other in return.