We just spent several hours observing teenagers hanging out at our local mall.
We came to the conclusion many teenagers in America today are living in poverty. Most young men we observed didn't even own a belt; there was not one among the whole group.
But that wasn't the sad part. Many were wearing their daddy's jeans. Some jeans were so big and baggy they hung low on their hips, exposing their underwear.
I know some must have been ashamed their daddy was short, because his jeans hardly went below their knees. They weren't even their daddies' good jeans, for most had holes ripped in the knees and a dirty look to them.
It grieved us, in a modern, affluent society like America, there are those who can't afford a decent pair of jeans. I was thinking about asking my church to start a jeans drive for "poor kids at the mall." Then on Christmas Eve, we could go Christmas caroling and distribute jeans to these poor teenagers.
But here is the saddest part...it was the girls they were hanging out with that disturbed us most. Never, in all of our lives, have we seen such poverty-stricken girls.
These girls had the opposite problem of the guys. They all had to wear their little sister's clothes. Their jeans were about 5 sizes too small! I don't know how they could get them on, let alone button them up. Their jeans barely went over their hipbones.
Most also had on their little sister's top; it hardly covered their midsections. Oh, they were trying to hold their heads up with pride, but it was a sad sight to see these almost grown women wearing children's clothes.
However, it was their underwear that bothered us most. They, like the boys, because of the improper fitting of their clothes, they had their underwear exposed. We had never seen anything like it. It looked like their underwear was only held together by a single piece of string.
We know it saddens your heart to receive this report on condition of our American teenagers. While we go to bed every night with a closets full of clothes nearby, there are millions of "mall girls" who barely have enough material to keep it together.
We think their "poorness" is why these 2 groups gather at the mall; boys with their short daddies' ripped jeans, and girls wearing their younger sisters' clothes. The mall is one place where they can find acceptance.
So, next time you are at the mall, doing your shopping , and you pass by some of these poor teenagers, would you say a prayer for them?
And one more thing.