Tracy Speaks: An Excerpt about “Thirteen”

 – by Walt Mueller
©2004, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding

Editor’s note: CPYU has received numerous questions regarding the recent film, Thirteen. In an effort to help our readers understand the purpose and message of the film, we’ve chosen to include the following commentary and analysis, which is an excerpt from Walt Mueller’s soon-to-be finished book on engaging youth culture for the Gospel.
Movies possess the incredible ability to communicate reality. Jen-Luc Godard says that “a film is the world in an hour and a half.” The recent 99-minute film Thirteen serves as a loud mouthpiece for the young, and an effective example of how pop culture can open our eyes and ears to the troubling reality of life in today’s world for the emerging generations. If this is indeed their world and we haven’t been listening, we’d better start paying attention. The reality Thirteen presents is anything but pretty, but it’s true.

A film about 13-year-olds written by 13-year-old Nikki Reed with help from writer/director Catherine Hardwicke, Thirteen takes viewers on a roller coaster ride through the world of today’s adolescents as it autobiographically chronicles the desperate confusion of teenagers and their search for significance, purpose and belonging. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Reed said her own personal coming-of-age struggles and confusion were rooted in the fact that, “I felt like I wasn’t understood and like no one was listening to me.” The film is anything but entertaining. To conclude its purpose is to entertain would be to grossly miss its point. Like Mel Gibson’s critically acclaimed The Passion of the ChristThirteen documents an ugly reality that warrants discovery. Reed’s film cries out to adults, begging them to listen and understand. Never does the film attempt to justify or excuse the negative and troubling choices teens make in their search for ultimate purpose. Instead, it serves as a cry that informs.

Thirteen chronicles the struggles of Tracy Frieland as she enters adolescence and morphs from a cute and perky straight-A student, into a confused and rebellious teenager looking for her place to belong. At the outset of the film, Tracy turns her back on her life-long neighborhood girlfriends in favor of a connection with the charismatic yet painfully broken Evie Zamora (played by the film’s writer), the most popular and sexy girl in the seventh grade. From there, it all spirals down as Tracy experiences and responds to a variety of pressures and situations not uncommon to today’s teens. Because of its accurate portrayal of teen reality, viewing Thirteen is like having full access to a stack of teenage diaries and a hidden camera focused on the day-to-day comings and goings of young people.

It’s wise to begin our journey into listening to today’s emerging generations by allowing teens to speak through Thirteen and consider the bits of reality portrayed in the film—bits of reality that, when combined together, will get us started on a journey that will equip us to respond to Tracy and her generation with the life-changing message of the Gospel—all in a way that can be heard and understood. As Tracy and her generation speak to the church, what do we hear them say? Or, to ask the question in a different way, what is their reality that we must hear, listen to and understand? What are they saying to the church?

“We’re changing, confused and vulnerable.”

As Tracy begins seventh grade, it becomes painfully obvious to her and those around her that she is entering into a period of earth-shattering change. On the first day of school, she gleefully walks the outside corridors of the middle school campus with her innocent, childlike and life-long neighborhood girlfriends. As they stop to interact with Tracy’s older brother, Mason, and a group of his friends, they notice the boys’ visual and verbal attention shift to Evie Zamora, who has changed from a girl to a woman over summer vacation. Evie’s voluptuous body and seductive dress grab the attention of all as she walks across campus. At that moment, Tracy and her girlish-looking friends are forgotten as the boys lustily comment on Evie’s transformation. Suddenly, the girls are faced with the fact that they themselves fall far short of Evie on the spectrum of change. While little or nothing is said, Tracy’s expression communicates that she doesn’t have to wonder long about how far along she is in the process. She sees herself as the little girl left behind. On the middle school campus where there are now “full-grown women,” those who are insecure little girls are trapped in unhappiness. And so, Tracy’s battle with herself and everything in her world commences as she resolves to push ahead and forcibly move herself into adulthood as quickly as possible.

In a poignant scene symbolizing the confusing transformation from child to adult, she responds to being looked down upon as a child by Evie and her friends. Tracy gets home from school and angrily empties her bedroom of her cherished stuffed animals and little girl toys, and decides to grow up. She even goes so far as to angrily throw them—and other things representative of her childhood—into the trash. She then proceeds to “trash” her lifelong friends, dropping them so she can pursue a friendship with Evie.

The moments of Tracy’s life shared with us in the remainder of the film serve as poignant reminders of the uncertainty, storms and stress faced by teens who not only have to experience the normal developmental changes associated with the adolescent years (physical, social, emotional, intellectual, moral), but they have to do so in a culture where social pressures are on the rise and many of the social supports that should guide young people through these years have collapsed and/or disappeared altogether.

The door of childhood is closing on Tracy’s life. The doorway into adolescence is opening wide, and she’s not sure what she sees or where to go. For Tracy and many of her friends, the teenage years are all about survival and finding their way. Consequently, they’re susceptible to any person, institution or entity that has the intended or unintended power to define and shape who they are. In a word, the emerging generations are “vulnerable.”

In his wonderfully positive and helpful book Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens, Paul Tripp looks to the first seven chapters of Proverbs and finds a biblical perspective on the kinds and types of struggles those who work with or parent vulnerable and changing teens will discover about the teenagers they know who are a part of Tracy’s generation. Each of these tendencies is overtly evident in Tracy’s representation of the adolescent experience in Thirteen.

First, adolescents have “no hunger for wisdom or correction.” Tripp explains, “Most teenagers … think they are much wiser than they actually are, and they mistakenly believe that their parents have little practical insight to offer.” Tracy and her peers inThirteen function in a world where things get so bad that when parents attempt intervention, they are seen as an intrusion. Consequently, confused young adolescents wind up guiding confused young adolescents.

Second, they have “a tendency towards legalism.” In other words, “they tend to emphasize the letter of the law rather than the spirit. Teenagers tend to push at the fences while telling you that they are still in the yard.” In their interactions with adults, Tracy and her friends go so far as to totally ignore the fences and move out of the yard.

Third, they have “a tendency to be unwise in their choice of companions.” Tripp recognizes that friendship is important to teens and “it is impossible to be uninfluenced by one’s friends.” The gravitational pull of Tracy to Evie is very strong, so strong that Evie paves the way for Tracy’s quick spiraling down. Still, teens assume they won’t be influenced negatively by the friends they choose. The entire Thirteen plotline is built on the fact that in the world of the young, peers do influence peers.

Fourth, life for an adolescent is marked by “a susceptibility to sexual temptation.” Because the teenage years are a time where God’s design for the body is realized by the body’s new ability to reproduce itself, our teens experience a variety of sexual feelings. Tracey’s sexuality is being realized in a world where there is an overload of boundary-less sexual advice, example and temptation. Evie serves as an experienced tutor, demonstrating not only how to kiss, but how to perform oral sex on a guy. Sadly, she follows through and the demonstration serves as a preface to the real thing.

Fifth, adolescents manifest “an absence of eschatological perspective.” In other words, “they don’t tend to live with eternity in view. They don’t think in terms of delayed gratification. Teenagers are shockingly present-focused.” Tracy and her friends spontaneously pursue new and risky experiences with reckless abandon and little sense of self-concern. They live for the moment.

Finally, teenagers evidence “a lack of heart awareness.” They don’t always know that they are hungering and thirsting for God. For the biblically informed viewer, all the lost souls portrayed in Thirteen—teens and adults alike—manifest deep spiritual hunger and thirst.

As the emerging generations cry out to the church, they are asking us to understand them better than they understand themselves. For the most part, we aren’t. The resulting frustration comes through loud and clear in Matchbox Twenty’s song “Unwell”: “All day staring at the ceiling/Making friends with shadows on my wall/All night hearing voices telling me/That I should get some sleep/Because tomorrow might be good for something/Hold on, feeling like I’m heading for a breakdown/And I don’t know why …”

“Our support systems aren’t working and it’s stressing us out.”

An alarming reality of many ‘80s era “coming of age” films is the conspicuous absence of healthy adults. For example, in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, parents are portrayed as self-absorbed in career and social pursuits, marginally involved in their children’s lives, and easily manipulated and outsmarted by teenagers who politely listen and then go on doing their own thing. The authority figure of a school administrator is portrayed in the same humorously negative light in both Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club.

Fast-forward to the dawn of the new millennium and the same film genre portrays the detachment and struggles of parents and other adults not in a humorous satirical manner, but with a seriousness that reflects the relational reality of too many children and teens. The teenagers of the ‘80s (a.k.a. “Generation X”) have come of age, and the fallout of what they were laughing at back then just isn’t funny to them or anyone else anymore. While baby boomers were certainly intimately involved in the consumption and production of popular culture while they were young, Thomas Beaudoin notes that his generation of X-ers, “found it at an earlier, more critical age and without the familial supervision of previous generations.” Their stories and outlook on life reveal that truth. They’re now old enough to see how the absence of healthy involved adults during the developmental years produces long-term fallout. Now that we’ve seen and experienced where it leads, it’s no laughing matter. Consequently, today’s thoughtful coming of age films reflect that reality. This is certainly the case in Thirteen.

For Tracy, the foundational institution of the family has been broken by divorce. Dad is conspicuously absent. When he does appear, Tracy’s longings for a connection with her father are shattered once more as their planned weekend visit is cancelled because he has business responsibilities, and their short face-to-face conversation is interrupted by his attachment to his ringing cell phone. Tracy lives with her mom, Mel, a recovering alcoholic struggling to make ends meet for her family. Mel attempts to meet her own relational needs by opening her home and bed to an on-again off-again boyfriend who is a recovering cocaine addict. While Mel’s attempts to provide for and guide her two children are valiant, her efforts are frustrated by the reality that what she is trying to hold together has been terribly broken by past choices and present circumstances. Tracyhas no support.

Like so many other teens from broken homes, the vulnerable young Tracy—already dealing with the normal pressures and challenges of adolescence—seeks out support, refuge and identity with a peer. Sadly, Evie’s situation is markedly worse. Her father and mother are totally out of the picture. Abuse is part of her past. Currently, she lives with a guardian whose own life, not surprisingly, is a train wreck. In Evie, Tracy finds a support system that has never had a support system herself. Again, a confused child is led by a confused child in a difficult and confusing adult world.

Developmental expert David Elkind has been tracking the place of children and teens in society for years. He believes that as adults, we have forced our children out of childhood—the time they need to grow—and into a premature adulthood. He writes, “In today’s society we seem unable to accept the fact of adolescence, that there are young people in transition from childhood to adulthood who need adult guidance and direction. Rather, we assume the teenager is a kind of adult. Whether we confer premature adulthood upon teenagers because we are too caught up in our own lives to give them the time and attention they require or because we feel helpless to provide them with the safe world they need, the end result is the same: teenagers have no place in society.”

In his research and work with teenagers, Elkind has discovered that this imposition of premature adulthood—something Tracyfaces—affects them in two distinct yet related ways. First, it robs them of that all-important period of life where they are able to construct their personal identity and define who they are. Without that opportunity, they risk a dangerous present and future. “By impairing his or her ability to construct a secure personal identity, today’s society leaves the teenager more vulnerable and less competent to meet the challenges that are inevitable in life.” And second, forcing teens into premature adulthood through lack of understanding, involvement and support leads to “inordinate stress: teenagers today are subject to more stress than were teenagers in previous generations.” The stress comes in the form of too many freedoms, loss of security and future, and “the frustration of trying to prepare for their life’s work in school settings that hinder rather than facilitate this goal.”

The reality of living in today’s society has made Tracy and her peers more vulnerable to stress while exposing them to stresses and situations almost unknown to previous generations. Their story is reflected in Everclear’s harrowing song, “TV Show”: “I wish I could come home to a life that looks like a TV show/I wish I could see my television family waiting for me/Where no one fights and no one screams, no one lies and no one leaves/I don’t care how the story ends/I want to feel like I am living again.”

Interestingly, the church and its ambassadors are conspicuously absent from Tracy, Evie and Mel’s stories. The only positive and caring adult presence is a teacher who challenges Tracy on the sudden decline in the quality of her schoolwork.

The film winds up being a story of the blind leading the blind. Who is to blame? The young teenagers who have been deprived of support and who struggle to find their way? Or the support systems that have miserably failed due to their weakness, lack of understanding, and/or absence? The answer is clear and the resulting reality is frightening and sad.

“We need a place to belong.”

Teenagers enter into adolescence feeling insecure and unsure of themselves. They desire to fit in and belong. If they don’t, they see themselves as abnormal. “Consequently, pursuing and adopting the image of those who are accepted, desirable and interesting can become a consuming passion dictating appearance and behavior.” Researcher Marcel Danesi observed adolescent behavior for years and came to the conclusion that kids are either “cool” or “losers.” He writes, “Coolness has become a synonym for social attractiveness, and its opposite, loserness, has become a synonym for ugliness and alienation.” Nobody wants to be ugly and alienated.

Peer pressure is incredibly difficult for a child growing up in an intact and healthy functioning home. Peer pressure is that much more intense when the family is failing. When the places they were made to belong fail to meet a child’s most basic emotional and spiritual needs, teenagers will seek and find other options. In Tracy’s case, her home is a battleground. When the earthquake of adolescence hit in Tracy’s life, she didn’t find the sense of safety and security teenagers should be finding in the home. What she didn’t find in her family, she sought out in her peers. Consequently, her entrance into her adolescent years is a date with a dangerous and distressing destiny.

Very quickly, Tracy’s quest for belonging takes her to a new peer group, specifically Evie, the envy of the seventh grade class who appears to be mature beyond her years and seems to have everything together. Without knowing Tracy is in pursuit and hoping for a first encounter, Evie heads to the restroom. Tracy catches up and their “chance” meeting turns out to be everything Tracy hoped for. Instead of rejecting Tracy’s advances, Evie invites Tracy to go shopping later that day. As Evie disappears into the girls’ room, Tracy dances with ecstatic joy. She’s made a connection! In her mind, she’s on her way to belonging. Suddenly, feelings of significance surge through her being. From that point on, Tracy’s relationship with Evie begins and her newfound place of belonging is actually the start of a downward spiral that takes Tracy to the brink of self-destruction. Still, in the adolescent mind, it’s a small price to pay for acceptance.

Just as a street gang serves as a “family” system for the disenfranchised urban kid on the streets, Tracy’s new circle of friends becomes a “family” that provides her with a place, a set of rules and some significance. She is on the road to being socialized and “raised” by a confused peer group, instead of her parents.

Rather than experiencing the unconditional acceptance she should have been getting in her family, she goes to her newfound friends. The price of Tracy’s acceptance and belonging winds up being exceptionally costly. In no time at all, Tracy engages in theft, shoplifting, drug abuse, illicit sexual activity, lying, use of profanity, a radical change in appearance and a variety of other distressing behaviors. Her mom continually looks at her with a helpless expression that begs an explanation for the sudden change in her little girl.

Dean Borgman recognizes that a child, like Tracy, “grows up as part of, and is shaped by, various social systems. It is God’s plan that these systems lead children to maturity and fullness of life. Disorder in these systems can produce disorder in the life of the emerging adult.”

Tracy’s young life is in full disarray. Her feelings—and those of other young people who share her experience—are captured in the sad lyrics of Linkin Park’s plea-filled song, “Somewhere I Belong”: “I wanna heal/I wanna feel what I thought was never real/I wanna let go of the pain I’ve felt so long (Erase the pain till it’s gone)/I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real/I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along/Somewhere I belong.”

Tracy’s unmet need for belonging is an invitation for outside socializing factors to take the place of a strong home, to move into her life and then to shape who she already is as well as what she is becoming. Tracy was suffering both the consequences of her choices and the fallout from her lack of belonging.

“We’re hurting and hurting deeply.”

From the moment Tracy makes the decision to connect with Evie, her already fragile and confusing young life takes a turn for the worse. Together, they embark on a series of dangerous and risky behaviors. They have become in Dean Borgman’s words, “troubled youth,” that is, “young people in imminent danger of inflicting serious injury on themselves or others.”

As the movie unfolds, viewers are treated to a host of disturbing and sometimes graphic portrayals of the pain Tracy feels as the result of her decisions. Her cries are not always verbal and direct. At times they are silent. Dean Borgman accurately connects Tracy’s cries to her relational brokenness, a reality he’s seen over and over throughout his years in youth ministry and more frequently in recent years: “In one dramatic way after another, adult society has shoved young people into silent margins; there they must tell their stories—if not in words, in silent, self-destructive acts or bold outbursts of violence. This is the simplest explanation of self-injury or self-immolation, of gangsta rap, school shootings, and perhaps bullying and rape.” Her obsession over body image leads to eating issues, a problem so widespread in today’s youth culture that it is an epidemic. She engages in risky and immoral sexual behaviors from performing oral sex on a classmate, to engaging in a passionate “practice” kiss with Evie, to willing participation in group sexual activity as she and Evie team up to seduce an older male neighbor in his living room. She experiments with drugs and alcohol. At one point she and Evie—both giddy and high from huffing—willingly exchange face punches in an effort to feel something other than their emotional numbness. The punching is so severe that it leaves them bloodied. Perhaps the most alarming manifestation of Tracy’s growing emotional agony are her attempts at self-therapy through self-mutilation. On three occasions during the film, she slices her arms in an effort to release her emotional burdens.

No one knows for sure how many “Tracys” are out there in today’s world. What we do know is that as adolescent support systems break down, the number is growing. One estimate is that at least one out of every four teenagers in the United States is currently “at serious risk of not achieving productive adulthood.” According to another recent study, “about 21 percent of U.S. children ages nine to 17 have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder associated with at least minimum impairment.”

Tracy and her peers are hurting, and hurting deeply. Jonathan Davis, the lead singer of the band Korn takes listeners beneath the surface of the disturbing behaviors of troubled youth, expressing the resulting heart yearnings felt by the “Tracys” of this world. In the song “Hollow Life” he sings, “We come to this place/Falling through time/Living a hollow life/Always we’re taking/Waiting for signs/Hollow life/Is there ever any wonder/Why we look to the sky/Search space/Asking ‘why?’/All alone, where is God?/Looking down, we don’t know … Am I alive?/Am I asleep?/Or have I died?”

“Will you be here for us?

As Thirteen comes to a close, the film’s final three scenes send a loud and clear message to our adult culture and to the church. The first scene is emotionally riveting and telling. Tracy’s mother, desperate to help her daughter, takes a big first step in the right direction. At a moment where Tracy is exhibiting her extreme frustration and confusion in a fit of rage, Mel refuses to walk away. Instead, she grabs her daughter, pulls her in close even though she is putting up a fight, and squeezes her in a way that says, “I am here and I will not let you go.” For a moment, Tracy resists even though her mother is offering something she’s hoped for. Eventually, her resistance stops and she collapses into her mother’s arms while both weep.

Next, the camera focuses on the two as they lay together sleeping in Tracy’s bed. Tracy is backed into her mother’s body. Lost in her mother’s embrace, their hands are entwined and Tracy feels a safety and peace she has not experienced for quite some time. Her mother is there for her.

In the third and final scene, viewers are reminded that while Tracy has experienced far more than any human being—let alone a 13-year-old—should ever have to experience in terms of brokenness, agony and pain, she is still just a little girl. The camera captures Tracy’s face as she spins on a piece of playground apparatus. And then, the picture of youthful innocence is shattered by reality as the little 13-year-old girl who is playing, let’s out a blood-curdling scream. Just like that, the film ends.

The scenes combine to summarize Tracy’s journey. She is young. She is vulnerable. She has been through great pain. And finally, she wants and needs someone to be there for her.

Teenage pop singer Avril Lavigne sings of her generation’s need for connections in her song “I’m With You”: “I’m standing on the bridge/I’m waiting in the dark/I thought that you’d be here by now/There’s nothing but the rain/No footsteps on the ground/I’m listening but there’s no sound/Isn’t anyone trying to find me?/Won’t somebody come take me home?/It’s a damn cold night/Trying to figure out this life/Won’t you take me by the hand?/Take me somewhere new/I don’t know who you are/But I, I’m with you/I’m looking for a place/Search for a face/Is anybody here I know?/Cause nothing’s going right/And everything’s a mess/And no one likes to be alone.”

What will we do?

Thirteen testifies to the universal longing of fallen humanity—especially the emerging generations—for spiritual wholeness and restoration. Sadly, some in the church see the film as another excuse to point disapprovingly at the world before retreating back from its messy reality into the supposed safety of a cloistered existence. After all, if we don’t look at the ugliness, we won’t have to do anything about it and it won’t be able to do anything to us.

Jesus certainly challenged this erroneous and sinful approach on several occasions. One time, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees paraded in a messy wreck of a woman who had been caught in adultery. They wondered whether or not they should follow the law of Moses and put her to death by stoning. Jesus diffused the situation and disarmed their trap by instructing anyone present who was themselves without sin to carry out the stoning. Everyone was suddenly faced with the fact that they, too, were messy wrecks. One by one they walked away, until Jesus and the woman were the only two remaining. Then, he proceeded to tell her that he would not condemn her, but that she should, “go now and leave your life of sin” (Jn 8:1-11). Jesus had lovingly listened and understood. Those who thought they had understanding were silenced by his words. Then, in compassion, he reached out to the woman and loved her. He had filled the hole in her soul.

Those who study the Bible and theology know there’s not one young person out there who is unredeemable. Like Tracy, they are longing for redemption. Not only is it a biblical/theological truth, but even the traditionally cautious and spiritually gun-shy world of social science research is recognizing the reality of this yearning. A recent report from the Institute for American Values indicates that there is a growing abundance of “scientific evidence—largely from the field of neuroscience, which concerns our basic biology and how our brains develop—showing that the human child is ‘hardwired to connect.'” The report goes on to describe the two primary connections all humanity needs in order to function and flourish. First, there is a built-in hardwiring for connections to other people. And second, our hardwiring causes us to search for “moral meaning and openness to the transcendent.” The desire for connections—human and divine—is undeniably present.

Even though he was speaking about the generation prior to Tracy’s, Thomas Beaudoin’s summary of the religious quest of Gen X-ers speaks for the generation that follows as well: “Our most fundamental question is ‘Will you be there for me?’ We ask this of our selves, bodies, parents, friends, partners, society, religions, leaders, nation, and even God. The frailty that we perceive threatening all of these relationships continually provokes us to ask this question.”

The church faces a moment of opportunity unprecedented by anything we’ve seen in our short lifetime. The youth culture is crying. Will we listen? Will we understand? Will we avail ourselves of the opportunity to be heard? If and when we answer “no,” the complaints of the young are legitimate. They are right when they look at us and say, “you don’t listen” and “you don’t understand.” In effect, our ignorance tells them, “we don’t care” and “we have nothing to say.” What a tragedy—and sin—it is when we hold back the Good News from those who so desperately need to hear. Perhaps saddest of all is that for the most part, we don’t even know when we’re doing it. Our intentions are otherwise, but the reality raised by their indifferent response is undeniable.

John Stott challenges us to look at the incarnation of our Lord as a spectacular example and model of cultural identification: “For the Son of God did not stay in the safe immunity of his heaven, remote from human sin and tragedy. He actually entered our world. He emptied himself of his glory and humbled himself to serve. He took our nature, lived our life, endured our sorrows, felt our hurts, bore our sins and died our death. He penetrated deeply into our humanness. He never stayed aloof from the people he might have been expected to avoid. He made friends with the dropouts of society. He even touched the untouchables. He could not have become more one with us than he did. It was the total identification of love.”

Jesus has something to say to each question and concern voiced by Tracy and her burdened generation. Think again about what they’re verbalizing to us:

  • “We’re changing, confused, and vulnerable.”
  • “Our support systems aren’t working and it’s stressing us out.”
  • “We need a place to belong.”
  • “We’re hurting and hurting deeply.”
  • “Will you be here for us?”

His life-giving word to the emerging generation is straightforward and clear: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mt 11:28-29).

Before we speak for Jesus, we must live among our young like Jesus. We must participate in their lives like Jesus. And, we must listen like Jesus. If we don’t, the emerging generations growing up right under our own noses could become an “unreached people group,” a people group that currently has “no access to the gospel. They are ‘hidden’ not in the sense that they are invisible, but in the sense that there is no way, given current conditions, that they can hear the gospel in their own language in a way that makes sense to them.”

It may seem odd to quote Tom Petty as the source of a timely prayer for our young. His song “Lost Children” captures the essence of what we—the church—should be praying for the emerging generations: “Lord please watch over all these lost children born to chase the hurricane/Please shine some light down on those who wander filled with hunger and pain/Please raise the wind for all those out sailing on an ocean alone/Lord shine a light on all these lost children far away from home/Lord keep an eye on all these lost children swept away in the wind/Please shine some light down on all those travelin’/Lead them all home again.”

Let’s begin our journey to communicate to the emerging generations by listening— listening to generations that need to hear, understand, and respond to some Good News. It’s a generation Jesus invites to “come.” It’s a generation to which Jesus commands us to “go.”


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