My friend (youth pastor’s wife & youth leader herself) asked me to co-facilitate a small group with some senior high school girls. I’ve felt a tug to work with high schoolers a few times over the years, but quite honestly, I’ve been afraid to do so. Especially girls….think that’s why God gave me boys! They still kinda scare me, but I know this is a good thing – for me and hopefully for them.
To kick it off, we planned to have dinner together (always a good way to celebrate fellowship, isn’t it?) and for the adults to “tell their story.”
I thought about ahem, The Holy Spirit gave me the idea to make up a “fun” quiz – you know the kind – where the girls would guess which adult this describes: “I was on a dance team for 6 years.” Gee, I wish that one was mine…
In my mind, it was intended to be fun, but nothing is wasted in the Lord’s world, right? When I originally read my friend’s list, I felt a little jealous: “Man, she sounds more interesting than me.” In fact, I was even having trouble REMEMBERING anything about me BC (and by that I mean BEFORE CHILDREN). So I decided I’d do the smart thing – COPY OFF HER!
Interestingly enough, my memories started firing. And even more interesting, I found out that she and I have MANY things in common….which led me to think about topics of conversations to have with the girls.
I know what they’ll probably think. I’m a mom and so old in their minds that I couldn’t POSSIBLY understand and empathize with what they’re going through – what they think, feel, imagine, what they’re hurt by, what they wonder about, what they have doubts about, what they’re scared about. I’m sure they can’t believe it, BUT I can guarantee that THEY and I have more in common than they can imagine.
I would also bet that I’m NOT the person they think I am. Trust me, I’m not so smooth that everyone thinks I have it all together, but I admit I do wear my I’m-Fine-I’ve-Got-Things-Under-Control Mask most of the time. Don’t you, too? At least now, after the quiz, the girls know that:
- I’m a klutz.
- I got into a real fight (physical, not an argument) once.
- I can raise one eyebrow.
- I’m shy and don’t have much self confidence.
- I once spewed green peas all over the dining table when my mom made me eat them.
- I climbed inside the Statue of Liberty up to her crown.
- I’m not the one who said all the athletic things…..
I am reminded of how Paul told us in 1st Cor 9:19-23 that he became “all things to all people.”
And I’m reminded that people I come into contact with – including those that I think can’t POSSIBLY have anything in common with ME – are beloved children of the Almighty….who deserve to hear the Good News as much as I do.
I’m also reminded of ONE of the original reasons for this blog – the need to be authentic, open and even vulnerable to others.
So I pray that I will be as Paul – “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”