Different size silhouettes– carefully traced and cut out, now hanging in the hall that leads to our room. The hand-painted banners were hung—both “Wannabe” and “Heart”. Bulletin boards now had new backgrounds and relative boarders, faux boards alike. A carefully mapped out lesson was ready and I was stoked! Nothing excites me more than to sit amongst young people and challenge them to wannabe more like Jesus. My heart smiles at the thought of offering an experience that leaves them craving more.
7:04—cell phones were powering off as I joined them at a table in the middle of the room. I listened to stories about school and their new year. I learned who was pretending to date whom and how the ball schedules were shaping up.
Now, I know you aren’t supposed to have favorites but I have one. I do, I can’t help it. In fact, he just might even be my favorite boy! And there he was– in the seat to my left, staring at the table, and playing with a paperclip while we turned to Psalm 51. He had beaten the rest of us to looking it up and I’d had it marked! We read and he wasn’t interested in following along.
I talked about sin-filled hearts and how David was full of nothing but praise at the thought of God taking that black heart and washing it whiter than snow. That paperclip kept the beat of our conversation as it tapped the table. I don’t know that he could look any less interested, but I was convinced he was listening. He glanced up just enough for me to believe I had him hooked.
We got to the point of the discussion where I asked them, “So, who cares? What does this have to do with us today? And, how on earth do we live this out? What can we do to offer our changed hearts to the world?” Tons of answers filled the room, but it was when that paperclip stopped tapping that the room completely changed. I looked his way and he was looking at me. “What about our hearts in the world?” “What can we do to offer our changed hearts to the world?” He had this look in his eye, just a little sparkle. Then he grinned at me and said, “I don’t know, but I know we have to!” It’s like something just snapped and suddenly he was thrilled to create a heart to go on his person in the hall.
Just a little sparkle. That’s all it took to remind me just how much I had missed sitting amongst young people, figuring out how to be Jesus to our world. Just a little sparkle.