Reaching Across Generations

Photo by Gemma Evans

With the passing of film director John Hughes this week has come a blog post that is catching all sorts of attention, written by a woman who as a teenager became Hughes’ penpal.  She challenged him when he responded to Breakfast Club fan mail with a form letter, so he wrote her a real one in response, and a two-year writing relationship began.  She became an insight into the teen world he was depicting on screen, and he became a mentor, reaching across generations to hand-write letters back and forth with a real-life “insignificant” teenager.

What’s inspiring here is not only her courage as a teen, but his responsiveness as an adult with influence.  This is a great—and seemingly too rare—example of the kind of mentoring we must be about in our churches and neighborhood ministries today.  What if we fostered communities where adults like Hughes took time out of their busy and self-important lives to take the thoughts and pain of just one teenager seriously?  Incredible potential, especially when it’s done in the name of Jesus.