One of the 8 papers I wrote in the past 2 weeks was a reflection exercise for my “Youth at Risk” course on the movie “Kids“. If you haven’t seen this, it’s as close to child pornography as it gets.
People actually wrote letters to our seminary president to not allow our prof. to show it in class. It was shown anyways. It’s shocking to me that they people could act this out for a movie, what’s more shocking is it’s a vivid picture of reality.
Below’s my write up.
The movie “Kids” exposed me to the wonder and the horror of my own humanity. The youth captured in the film were foul, offensive, jaded, destructive, and all too much like me underneath it all. While their outward practices, language, and behavior I must admit are mostly foreign to me today, there is something within their culture that is more like me than I care to admit.
While watching this film, I felt that in many moments these ‘kids’ were having a better time than I was. How can I compare sitting in classroom full of strangers, to skinny dipping with a bunch of good friends? These youth have a camaraderie together that is rare in my world. They literally fight for one another without question or judgment.
Although many of their actions are unhealthy, I can feel they are reacting to the same human longings for acceptance, community, authenticity, and love that I desire myself. These ‘kids’ just happen to act on their overly sexualized and abusive compulsions; blatantly saying and doing the same things that I think about, but hide from everyone else. Beneath it all, they are not just an embarrassing cross-section of our society, they are human beings. They are not stupid. They are spirits like me who are trying to get by with the best options that we are aware of.
I have hopes of planting a missional church that proclaims Jesus in every relevant way possible. As it stands today, I am completely irrelevant to these ‘kids’. If I was them, I would not want to be friends with someone like myself. I am so far removed from their world there is no way that I could ever get ‘in’ with my natural presumptions and civilized front. Reflecting on this film has helped change my view of them. However it is only the beginning, and not enough, because I still see these at risk youth as ‘them’.
My ministry must move beyond simply awareness of ‘them’. I cannot see transformation happening without real, intentional, friendship involved. My faith community must know them as fellow human beings on the journey through life. Their rampant sexual behavior must be gently won over with persistent and extraordinary love. Their violence must be overcome with a people with an even more violent desire; a community that would rightly fight on behalf of them for their futures.
The film was a snippet of what God sees every day, both on our streets and in our hearts. If these children are merely a reflection of my own humanity and God still chooses to give hope and a future to me, then I must choose to give hope and a future to these children.