Today was a good day. It was a day full of hard work, lots of activity, and a little be-frazzlement, but I am thankful for this day.
I was concerned that I was going to get blank stares in Sunday School. We actually had a pretty decent discussion, especially toward the end. Even if the kids did get a little hyper with frappachinos and donuts.
I was curious to see how worship would work out. I preached today, and organized the service in a non-traditional way. Over and over again I heard how the service "touched" someone or "spoke to" someone. "I loved what you said," shared one of my freshman girls, "but I also just loved the way the service was set up and flowed."
A more mature woman said, "I don't know if you noticed all the teary eyes around you," another said when she called me, "But today was beautiful! You reminded us of who we are, and the choice we made to follow Christ."
A man a few years older than myself came up to me and said, "I could really tell that you love us and care so much about us as you shared. And we are not the most easy church to love. You didn't preach at us, you talked with us. That meant a lot to me."
Another gruff old man hunted me down, with his eyes welling up and his hands shaking, "Thank you, I needed that," and quickly skirted out of the sanctuary.
It is always nice to feel competent and appreciated. But, when I feel I have been used to make a positive impact in people's lives, it fills me with wonder and awe. Mostly, because in those moments, I know it is not me. I post this because I need to remember these moments, so I won't give up on the fact that I can still be used to make a difference in other people's lives.
Our youth group event also went very well. I spent most of my effort for our service scavenger hunt running errands and organizing the event. As I heard the kids share what they did, I had to smile.
The boys had a hard time finding the homeless folks in their usual haunts, but eventually they were able to give away the meals they made nontheless. Including two sack lunches to a man who had not eaten all day.
The gals went to the nursing home to sing to one of our homebound members, and they shared that as they sang more and more people came along to sing the songs they were singing for Doris with them by heart. And the more they sang, the more the crowd grew. Then they went around with their "free hugs" signs through the building, and gave often ignored people in institutional care hugs. I had given them a maximum amount of free hugs they could get points for. They kept giving more and more hugs anyway.
And as both groups spoke, I was filled with wonder anew. Somehow in this silly service scavenger hunt, in very mundane ways that may not have even been noticed by them or their leaders, God showed up again.
It was truly a wonderous day. I share a lot in posts on this blog about the humor, frustrations, and aha moments that make up my life. At the risk of some of you thinking I am bragging, I also wanted to share the beauty and wonder of a good day.
God bless in this coming Thanksgiving Week.