Newsletter – Fall 2011
True Colors Shining Through
Isn’t it weird how so many random bits of knowledge we learned years ago in school are still remembered even today—even though we forget more important ones? Do I remember the names of the presidents? No. Do I remember algebraic formulas? Nope. Do I remember the capitals of the states or world treaties? No. But here is a bit of botanical trivia that, for no particular reason, has stuck in my brain for decades. (Maybe you can impress your friends with this scientific fact sometime this week.)
Did you know that leaves do NOT change color?
Seriously….they don’t. The myriad of vibrant red, orange, bronze, and golden hues that dazzle us each autumn are actually there even in the summer — we just can’t see them because they are hidden.
Here is the deal — every leaf has yellow, orange, and green ‘stuff’ in it. The green stuff is chlorophyll. During the summer, the green stuff is working really hard turning sunlight into food (photosynthesis). Because the chlorophyll is so busy, it covers up the other colors, making the leaves look totally green.
Basically, when the weather begins to turn cool the leaves get less water and the chlorophyll slows down. That allows the other colors to peek through.
So, the leaves don’t really “change” their color, they just lose their green. All of those other spectacular colors have really been there all of the time.
In a lot of ways, we are not that different. Our beautiful colors—like kindness, love, gentleness, peace — can get ‘covered’ up’ with ugly behavior caused by the effects of low self-esteem, ridicule, despair, cruel perceptions, and pain.
We see this happen a lot with the MNM kids. We also know how much God loves them and wants them to know and come to Him for help. So to help their “true colors” show, we (staff and volunteers) try to give all of the kids wise guidance and a glimpse of God every chance we can.
And…it is thrilling to see the little changes that have peeked through this fall.
Jose—so disruptive and disobedient last year has turned into the BEST student at Homework Help—working hard and making good grades. What a change!
Tai—a little guy who last year would always roughly push to the front of every line without any thought of the other boys. This fall we have actually seen him letting others go before him. This might not sound like a big deal to you, but trust me…HUGE.
Zuma—who used to be the little girl you were always chasing because she was running all over the place has now ‘self-appointed’ herself to help keep the other kids in order.
Adelia—watching this 8th grader mature from a little girl with a sour attitude and determination to make everyone else around her unpleasant to a young woman who is not only taking responsibility for her actions but encouraging the other girls to do the same has been such a sweet transformation.
Alejandro—one of the most difficult and ill-mannered high school guys is now is reading with a few little MNM kids on Monday Nights. Talk about a change — instead of getting in trouble he is being a role model.
So what do you think?
The change of trees from green to gold? …Beautiful.
The change that God makes in our lives? …Priceless.
To read entire newsletter: Newsletter Fall 2011 PDF