Thursday, December 1, 2016

Show Me Your Heart

Emerson was sleeping soundly in the Ergo, I was standing off to the side of the sanctuary. The lights were dim, I was praying for a middle school student, and the lyric "Show me your heart," flickered across the screen and played softly in the background.  I was asking, "God, show me your heart," and he was answering, "Here it is."

I have been lucky enough to be able to continue to be involved in ministry even as a new mom.  My church is baby-friendly, so to speak.  The youth pastor and his wife, dear friends of ours, have a young son just one month older than Baby E.  Both she, and I, bring our babies to youth group each week and just wear/hold them as we interact with students.  There is even a quiet, comfortable room that I can sneak off to when my little chub needs to fill his belly.  While I thought bringing Emerson might make ministry too difficult, I have mostly been able to still lose myself in loving and serving because my baby typically stays so content.  He has even become a point of connection with some girls who fight over who gets to squeeze his cute cheeks.  

One of the best parts of the weekly meeting, for me, happens during worship.  For one song, leaders are shuffled off to the sides of the room and students are invited to come and receive prayer.  I can't tell you how many awkward preteens have been bold enough to come up to me and ask for prayer.  Almost every week I've been able to pray for at least one person.  On days when I miss out on sermons because I'm nursing my baby, or when I'm chatting with students while distractedly shoving his binky in his mouth, I'm ever-grateful that I got those few uninterrupted moments to spend crying out to the Lord on students' behalf (because the combination of soft lights and soothing music always tends to konk my son out).

This last week I felt like God gave me a picture of himself.  When I asked during worship, "Show me your heart," his response was it is with these young people.  It is in their struggle.  I was able to see God in their broken places.  Scripture says that Jesus is near to the brokenhearted.  He holds these children through struggles with sexuality and acceptance and depression.  Through loved ones lost.  Through parents with broken marriages.  Through bullying.  Through siblings with disabilities.  Through having to grow up too fast.  When I go to these raw places with students I find the heart of God.  I see a glimpse of him and his compassion.

So if you seek God, if you search for his heart, you might find that it's right in front of you.  His heart is for people.  The essence of Jesus is that he values people (John Maxwell).  And he is with us in our brokenness.

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