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So last week we talked about love with Junior High.

Our entire summer’s theme is Love, actually, so last night was about love as well.

We went swimming—the youth pastor, two girls, two boys, and I. And the six people who live in the house we used (mom, dad, and four kids), as well as two high school girls. (Okay, the mom didn’t swim, but whatever.)

No intern this week—he’s visiting family or something for a few days.

It was weird, but fun.

We had a quick lesson on love toward the end of our night.

The youth pastor read a chapter from a Chicken Soup book about a girl who joins a new school and wants to fit in.

The story is basically about how, in order to fit in in Junior High, the girl teases a classmate.

She joins her new friends after school and goes along with their taunting of this “nerd” girl (Mary Louise), calling her names and even dropping her backpack.

She becomes the leader by being so bold in her taunting.

But then she turns and sees the man who can only be Mary Louise’s father.

She describes him as watching with grief and pride–grief at the teasing that his daughter was experiencing, and pride at the way she was handling it.

She says that no scolding could have lingered as much as a father’s tearful gaze.

And she never teased another classmate again.

The youth pastor said that he could relate to this.

When he was in Junior High, he got teased a lot.

And since then he has been an advocate for people being picked on.

He tied it in to last week, how we can be identified as Christians by our love, the way that we love others.

He mentioned the idea of the father in the story, how some people don’t have a father, or don’t have a great relationship with their father.

He pointed out that no matter what, we all have a Father who loves us, is proud of us, and protects us.

The story reminded me of Superchick’s Hero.

It’s something to think about.