Working at CSM has allowed me to have so many relationships with people in all different walks of life. It is almost to end of my summer season and I am struggling with the thought of leaving. The idea of saying “Goodbye” has always weighed on my heart. When I was younger I struggled with saying “Goodbye” because there was such a finality to it. I began saying “See You Later” in a effort to be positive and not focusing on the idea that at that moment it might be the last time I ever see that person ever again.
Truth of the matter is at the end of summer I will have to say “SEE YOU LATER.”
Las Familias will be the hardest to say “S.Y.L.” A place so dear to my heart that I come to tears just thinking about saying “S.Y.L.” I have liked children but I have never loved children, if that makes sense. I disliked working with little children because I was always scared about hurting them or hearing them say the darnest things but God has shattered that wall in my heart. In that tiny playground their laughter, tears, and spirits can be heard from busy 7th Street to Skid Row. Their names have been cemented in my heart and I will treasure them forever. I can truly say that I love these kids.
When the idea of leaving comes to mind, people might back off and go into cruise control relenting the original excitement and intensity. I have done that in the past and have been sorry for doing so because of the weeks or days that I could have spent loving on people were wasted.
The joy exuded in their voices and on the kids faces make the world go away. I have forgotten of struggles and problems in an instant walking through the wooden doors to the playground and the kids begin screaming, “Watch me! Watch me!” to the chanting of “King Topher.” The days that I thought I am just going to hang out and maybe take a nap, God “Jesus Slaps” me, and those are the most rigorous but also fulfilling days spent with the children.
I pray that these kids are protected from all evils, I pray that these kids receive the love that they deserve, I pray for their hearts to be strong, I pray for Alice and Eva and the teachers to continue loving and teaching these kids, I pray to God that I will be able to love Mi Familias and give everything in the summer, I pray that I will not dwell on the day where “S.Y.L.” will have to be said, I pray for CSM groups to come to love on these kids, I pray for for Las Familias financially to continue their outstanding work, I pray for perseverance and strength. I pray for love.
The day to say “S.Y.L.” will come. That day will be sad but joyful. I will have loved them with all that I possibly could. I will pray for them. I will love them. I will continue to pray for them and love them even if not in person.
Because they are “Mi Familia.”
- Topher, CSM Los Angeles Summer 2012 City Host
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