We kicked tonight off with a change. It started snowing before we started rocking. Change–change set the theme. Tonight was our monthly youth event—hundreds of junior and senior high students, four churches. Lots of plaid—it and “country” was our theme, after all. Lots of tears, hugs. Lots and lots and LOTS of Jesus reaching in, healing.
I’m doing one-on-one with a super sweet girl this year for youth. She’s awesome. She’s quiet and just likes sitting back and soaking it all in. She likes hugs and high-fives.
I like watching how God works in people. Sometimes, the girl I get to hang out with just totally comes alive from her usually quiet position. One moment she’ll be standing, just listening, the next she’ll be clapping or dancing. I’ll be acting like a goofball for Jesus, and she’ll look over and give me a smile when I least expect it.
I like seeing hearts change. I like looking up to the front of the room and seeing arms wrapped around one another in hugs over what is being thrown at someone in life, and what God is doing to move in them. I like looking around and seeing boxes of Kleenex at the ready, prepared for whatever God has in store. I like seeing kids celebrating LIFE, celebrating JESUS, praying for each other in a way that is totally real. I like seeing relationships build up. I like surrender—I like seeing inner surrender to God outwardly—the tears, the hugs, the arms around each other’s shoulders . . . The group of students on the floor, in a circle around another student, praying during a song. I like seeing hearts being healed in big ways that only God is responsible for.
I like leaders I don’t know grabbing me to participate in a high-five clapping-circle in the midst of a high energy song. I like leaders who aren’t afraid to grab anybody to just go nuts with during a song, but completely transform when it’s time to do one-on-one prayer. I like striving toward that. I like groups of people clustering together during a song, unified, hands on each other’s shoulders and praying.
like love how real this place I’m finally at is. This is not about pretending you are the person God wants you to be, it’s about growing and getting to be that person.
I say it time and time again, that thing about reason. The why of the things happening around me, in me. The reason Ramona asked “How do you feel about doing one-on-one with a tenth-grade girl who attends the junior high group?” Inclusion is one of my favourite things, I just didn’t know if I’d be good at doing it. I remember at the same time as I was saying yes, I was thinking “God, I hope You know what You’re doing”. And of course He does, right? Getting to hang out with this girl, though challenging at times, is totally a blessing. It allows me to participate in worship on a different level. It’s allowed me to adapt myself to trust that Yes, my God totally knows what He’s doing. My God knows me, He knows what I am capable of before I know it myself.
And it makes me hope that she sees Jesus in me in her own special way, as I do in her. Makes me hope that I’m doing this thing right, in a way that’s tangible to her.
My God, like her, is quiet but He comes to LIFE time and time again to surprise me . . . And smile at me when I least expect it.