The messy art room at the 601 community building was the last place Trey expected God to meet him and his mentee, Miguel.
Miguel has always been a natural leader. Sometimes he doesn’t recognize the influence he actually has over a room. He is one of those students that, if he takes an interest in an obscure topic, slowly the rest of the group finds themselves overwhelmed with intrigue.
Trey noticed something special about Miguel the instant he met him. There was something familiar about the way he carried himself that naturally drew Trey to him. After a while Trey realized that Miguel was very similar to his younger brother. So when the time came for IMPACT mentors to be paired up with IMPACT mentees, Trey asked to be matched with Miguel.
IMPACT allows both the mentor and mentee to set individual goals for themselves, while the other holds them accountable to those goals. Trey decided to work on his Spanish weekly and Miguel wanted to improve his relationship with his mom. Most teens enter into tension with their parents during Jr High. Miguel was feeling the weight of this tension. He had been getting in trouble more, lying to his mom, and disrespecting her. His mom would often tell him to be good because God is always watching him.
While the sentiment, “God is always watching us” is true, Miguel began to internalize God as a god who was trying to catch you doing wrong and punish you for it. Miguel spent his days worrying that he wasn’t good enough and he simply did too much wrong in the past to ever be considered good again.
Miguel was explaining this to Trey while sitting across two paint-spilled tables in the art room. Trey didn’t expect it, but God seemed to open the door for him to share the gospel with Miguel. Trey explained that there was no way for Miguel to be perfect enough to earn God’s love, and also that there is no way for him to be so imperfect that God would choose not to love him.
Trey separated the two art tables and shared how there is a canyon between God and us because of our sin. As they sat at one table and looked across the gap to the other table, he explained why there was a need for a bridge, and that bridge is God’s son, Jesus.
The light bulb turned on for Miguel and he understood it in a way that he had never comprehended before. There was a separation between him and God, yet there was a bridge. Miguel knew the significance of the bridge and what Jesus did for him. He also realized that other needed to know about this bridge and the importance of sharing Jesus with others.
Miguel and Trey stood quietly in the empty art room surrounded by art supplies and half-painted canvases. The implication of what happened in this moment was resting on them. This mentoring relationship had shifted into a very sacred start of discipleship, which given Miguel’s natural leadership, coupled with what he grasped in the art room that day, has potential to be Kingdom altering.