I have recently been caught in the sweeping tide of reading the Hunger Games series. Have you?

And yes, opening weekend, I was one of the many who added my money to the millions of dollars that made this movie one of the best box office openers.

Our heroine, the fabulous Katniss, invites us into a story told from her perspective. She is caught in survival mode, forced to fight for her life. And in the midst she becomes a symbol of HOPE to others.

You remember, President Snow, her main adversary; he is a man defined by greed and control. He saw this teenage girl as a huge threat. While he is seriously eerie, to say the least, and very well played by Donald Sutherland, I found myself thinking throughout the movie, hope always has the power to disrupt evil.

I was also distracted because I was contemplating about our teenagers. I was noticing how I, as an adult, want so desperately to foster HOPE in teens and in parents–especially in the area of sexuality.

So how exactly does one foster hope? And about sexuality? And what would it look like for parents to have HOPE for our children? Even though we might be scared to death for them and what they are facing…??

Katniss knew hunger for food and for freedom, because she had experienced the absence of something. But what do our teens hunger for? What is there an absence of in their lives?

So, in the past few weeks, I have been more intentionally listening and observing teenagers around me at:

malls…

coffee shops…

theaters…

churches…

The funny thing is, I keep observing the same thing in all of these places…adults steer clear of teenagers. Oh we adults notice them alright, but we do not actively engage with them.

In fact, at the local coffee shop where I was sitting one afternoon last week, adults were making a point of avoiding these loud, texting, talkative teens as they jockeyed for tables that were on the opposite side of the shop from them.

But, I decided to try something different. I made a point of striking up a conversation with Miss red-and-purple-hair-girl-with-the-dragon-tattoo and enough metal in her earlobes to crash a microwave.

Do you know what happened? We made a connection. Why? Because we actually had quite a lot in common. We both write, have blue eyes, enjoy Mumford and Sons, hate condiments and love sunsets.

See??

While I may never see her again, I did see her in these few moments of chatting together and I dared to step over the imaginary line of our generations — and something special happened.

Did I foster hope for another in that moment?

Well, I actually have no idea. But I know I felt something stir in me, reminding me of when I was a her age. I was so hungry for adults to take me seriously; to see that I had something to offer.

This returned me to a scene in Hunger Games where President Snow, from within his dark and corruptive viewpoint can clearly see what kind of HOPE this teenager offers. He says, “Hope is a dangerous thing, like a flame, it can catch others and create fire.”

Katniss had something to offer. A kind of hope that had the power to disrupt evil.

Enough said. Wouldn’t want to have to do any spolier alerts here. So anyway…

Let’s start wondering together. Let’s start hoping together for our teens, especially in the area of sexuality. I wonder what could happen…

Don’t you?

~ b.

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