Five Minute Friday: See


Today, I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker‘s Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

This week's prompt: See. 

Before Sunday School began, I laid down a bag of Peppermint Pretzel Slims I planned to nibble on during the lesson.

Peppermint Pretzel Slims Moments later, I moved to talk with another student. As I returned, I saw a student snatch the bag. He tried to do it covertly but failed miserably. 

So I went up to him and asked him for my pretzels.

Aghast, he responded, “How did you see that?!?”

To which I responded, “I see everything.”

Of course, I was joking when I said that.

I don't really see everything. But as a youth worker, oh how that's my prayer.

I long to go beneath the surface and to see teens for who they really are; To see beneath their manifesting behaviors to the pain and joy that lies underneath.

I want to see the lonely child, to ensure that on my watch, no one feels invisible.

I want to see that kid as God does.

Despite my best efforts, I often fail at this.

Sometimes, I'm too selfish to notice what's really going on. Sometimes, I'm distracted – by others in the room or even my own life.

But always, always this is my prayer:

“Lord, help me to see these teens as you do.”

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

Now Available!

A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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