I haven’t written for several weeks, because I have been involved in a new project — creating phone apps!  As my son said, “Who would have thought you would be working in technology?!”  The truth is, it has been a lot of fun and a great outlet for renewed creative juices.  The mobile phone/tablet apps are a part of The Gloo Project — a project to create apps to help people in their relationships.  I am honored to be a part of a team of many people and organizations from across the country to help develop and test these phone apps.

My apps primarily focus on therapy — addressing issues of addiction, anger, loneliness, and conflict.  I also have an app to help process why a date night might go wrong.  This app has a feature that will eventually allow others to post their stories of dates gone wrong.  The app I just finished is entitled What if God Were One of Us?  This gives users an opportunity to engage in a holy experiment to find God in the midst of our daily lives.  Once again, this app will eventually allow others to post their Godsightings.

I would love your stories of date nights gone wrong and of seeing God in the midst of us.  You can send them to me at sharon@sharonhersh.com.

If you would like to test these phone apps (mine and others), you can do that by registering at glooapp.com/sharonhersh.  Shortly thereafter, you will receive a link to download the apps on your IPhone of IPad.  I’d love for you to spend time looking at My Therapy, When Date Night Goes Wrong, and What if God Were One of Us?  You will receive prizes and rewards (gift certificates of $20-$100) for simply spending a bit of time to look at the apps — possibly even win an IPad!

I’d love to share with you a Godsighting I had recently.  I met a friend for coffee to catch up on our lives.  I learned that she has become the chaplain for girls whose lives have led them into legal consequences.  As I listened to her talk with passion, joy, and deep love for these girls, the words of Jesus echoed in my heart:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me
I’m telling you the solemn truth: Whenever you did one these things to someone overlooked or ignored,
that was me, you did it to me.  (Matthew 25:35-41).

I think you will seem what I mean as you read this story from my friend, Claire.  Claire’s story makes me wonder how many times I’ve missed Jesus in the midst of us because I wasn’t looking for Him in people who are hungry for love because their parents are meth addicts or in prison, in people who would give anything for a simple ice cream cone or hike in the mountains, or in people who spend everything they have so that they can hang out with a bunch of girls in juvy:

One of my favorites is this cute young gal “Kay” who came to our Wednesday detention Bible study and said she didn’t like God or Christianity. I mentioned a bit later that my favorite people are atheists & recovering addicts and she exuberantly threw up her hands and said, “Hey, I’m both!”
She said she is a “bad” kid and always gets in trouble and that her vision of God came mostly from her grandmother who calls her foul names and hits her when she messes up, which causes her to run away and get into more trouble. I told her I don’t think I’d like a God like that either and I’d run away too. Her mom is a stripper in Ohio who left her and her sister a few years ago when she got addicted to meth, and her dad is in prison in Canon City. Her grandmother stepped in to raise her and her sister in a middle class neighborhood, but she feels embarrassed that her parents and family circumstances aren’t like her peers.
She told me she was “bad” because she had tried to kill herself. I said, “I don’t know about this bad kid thing…I just see a kid in a lot of pain.” She said she’s slept with a lot of guys and even had intimate relationships with girls, “I see a young girl who wants to be loved and will give up a lot to find it. You’re heart is looking for something…what do you think it might be?” She said she’d think about it, but mostly she just wanted prayer so that God would let her get out of detention so she could be home for Christmas.
She was back in detention 3 months later and we got a chance to talk again. She’d invited Jesus into her heart at the residential treatment center she’d been in before she’d gone home. Her face lit up when she talked about Him, but she still had nagging doubts that she was just too bad a kid to be loved. We developed a friendship over the weeks of her stay in detention.  She’s been placed in other treatment homes and circled back around. I sent her a birthday card and she said it took her 10 minutes to figure out that it was from me, it was so unexpected.
I’d taken her out for ice cream and a soda once when she was on parole and she never forgot to mention that when I saw her each time coming back into detention. She is a delightful young girl with a soft heart and so wanting love and attention from her mom and dad. I asked once about the last time she felt joy and she said, “When my grandma, Dad and I went hiking in the foothills one Sunday. I wish that day could have lasted forever.” Such a simple moment but for her — so fragile and fleeting it made my heart hurt for her.
She is currrently at another residential treatment center where she has another Chaplain who keeps tabs on her, and I’m delighted she is continuing to go to Bible study and pray she finds hope and comfort in Jesus for what the world cannot provide for her heart. I trust Jesus will always walk with her and know He holds my affection for her as well.  Claire received this note from Kay when she was yet again away in detention:
If you want to know more about Claire’s life of being “Jesus-with-skin-in” go to: claire@yfcdenver.org.