with a piece of chalk.

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this video showed up in my inbox last monday as a part of the “youtube you can use” series from the youth cartel. two points i want to make about it…

1. this could be an adidas commercial.
2. this video reminds me of when God calls david in 1 samuel 16.

in the passage, samuel is tasked with traveling to bethlehem to anoint one of jesse’s sons to be the next chosen king of israel. it’s not an easy assignment considering that jesse pretty much has an army of sons to choose from. if i’m samuel, i’d be pretty nervous i’d screw it up.

jesse has seven different sons pass in front of samuel. they’re all impressive in appearance, but none of them are the right choice. finally, samuel asks jesse, “are these all of your sons?” and jesse spills the beans that the youngest one is outstanding in his field* tending the sheep.

* – this is one of my dad’s all-time favorite jokes. i couldn’t help myself.

i know this will be shocking, but God chooses david to be king. he does stuff like this pretty often actually – ignoring the biggest, strongest, oldest, and most important and picking the smallest, youngest, and least important instead – and he does it here too. he has this to say about it…

“the Lord does not look at things people look at. people look at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – v. 7

jesse doesn’t even think his son is important enough to join the other seven. he leaves him out in a pasture instead. shows what he thinks of him. i wonder what was going through david’s mind when he was told he couldn’t come along and would miss out on his chance to be chosen. did he say anything at all? does he object? or does he just take it and accept what the others though of him…”Looser!”

which brings us back to the video. the kid’s life is full of frustrations: home life stinks, mom and dad take their issues out on him. he gets bullied emotionally in class and physically on the playground. he’s neglected, unloved, forgotten. but we see his heart bubble over with a piece of chalk.

but when no one else is looking, he expresses who he really is. he dances. everyone else sees a small, quiet kid who has nothing to offer. and he just takes it all without a word. his heart must be exploding, but he never says anything. he just waits for the moment when he can escape the hate.

what would these kids think of him if they knew who he really is? what if they could see him when he escapes? what if they saw his incredible breakdancing? the only people who know about it are the kid and God himself. God sees his skills. God knows who he really is. if God was going to choose someone to anoint in this story, i know exactly who he is picking – even though no one else in this story can see what God sees.

my favorite moment is at the 1:05 mark when he finishes his dance and we see him smile – it’s small and quick, and it’s actually easily missed – but we get a glimpse into what these moments mean to him. it’s almost as if he is worshipping through his breakdancing; we get to see his heart poured out on those hopscotch squares.

so at this point, here are the questions i’d leave my students with – i’ll leave them for you all too…
– why does God have samuel look at all the other brothers first instead of just sending him straight to david?
– what does God see in you – good or bad – that people don’t see?
– who is the “david” in your life? can you think of anyone who you may have misjudged based on their appearance rather than their heart?


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