Dec 16 2010
We had a phone call from another nonprofit. They asked if we knew of any “deserving” young girl who might like to go to the Justin Bieber concert the following night. I said “yes” we know of several fine middle school girls and arranged to get the tickets. Then I started to get concerned about a fair process as I knew I would see at least 12 young girls later in the afternoon—all formerly homeless and coming for tutoring.
I thought of having a quiz on Bieber—and the girl who knew the most would get to go. I spent some time getting some facts on this young man for this strategy. What is his middle name? What is his favorite number? But then I kept thinking about the unbelievable chaos and ongoing disappointment in the lives of these girls. I did not want to contribute to any more of this kind of trauma.
I asked the director of the housing unit if she thought Brooklyn’s mother might take her to the concert. “No,” came the answer, “she works at night.” I did not even know if Brooklyn liked Justin Bieber—even though most 13 year old girls do.
As we were waiting for the children to come to tutoring and I was still fussing about what we might do with these two golden tickets (worth over $150.!) one of our college volunteers came through the door. I asked if she was finished with her finals. She said “yes, this morning.” So I asked her if she might be available to take a teenager to a concert the next day. She said “yes.” Then Brooklyn walked in and not knowing if her mother would let her go, I simply asked her if she liked Justin Bieber. Her eyes got wide and I knew that meant “yes.” So I called her mother and she said “yes.”
So this young person—a beautiful and smart girl who has been homeless much of her young life—got to be with Justin Drew Bieber—whose favorite number is 6. And joy was felt by all of us! Sometimes we go with what seems “right in our hearts” and not necessarily with what might be seen as “fair” as we glide through this grace-filled life.