The last few weeks have been exhausting and amazing...
I can't even begin to find words to sum everything up...
I spent the weekend of the Fourth in the company of some of the most amazing people in the world...between football and lightening bugs and Pad Thai and homemade peach icecream and crazy pool games and trips to coffee shops we managed to slip in some planning for our camp in Tennessee. The night of the Fourth found me in a church office, copying and stapling booklets for the camp. I heard the explosions outside...remembered past celebrations...and laughed. If someone had told me one year ago that I would be doing random secretarial work in Tulsa, Oklahoma when the next Fourth of July rolled around, I probably would have laughed at them. And yet I didn't mind one bit.
I think that's one of the biggest things God is teaching me in ministry this summer...that I don't matter. Not that the work I do doesn't matter, but that this thing I call "me" doesn't matter. My rights and personality and wishes and preferences and desires must all be laid aside for the sake of Him Who gave His entire life for me. I must keep killing myself. Moment by moment. I didn't realize how very much my life is totally me-centered, even in the little things. I want my life to be a sacrifice, willlingly and lovingly laid down for the sake of this great Treasure.
Hmm...where was I? Oh yes, Tennessee. The day after the Fourth found me playing football in the freeway median somewhere between Memphis and Nashville...as an accident stopped traffic for miles. We ran youth camp for Theta Baptist Church...that week was such evidence of my infernal weakness and God's majestic grace. It was such a joy to see God change kids...and to know that it was only Him who could have ever done such work.
I stopped writing this for a while to recollect my thoughts. They are no more collected...but I'm now fighting tears. God is incredible. I don't have words at all to describe the experince of Him. I just pray and live that people might see in my life the change that the gospel has made.
Project 61 ended today. I am exhausted and encouraged and discouraged and mostly more in love with God. Ah...why is it that I have to be at a place of utter devestation to realize my neediness. I know with my mind that I need Him all the time, but it's so rare that I know it with my heart, that He is all my desire, that His words provide all my sustenance, that prayer flows as naturally as breathing just because I am so aware of my need.
The kids, well, they're the reason I'm here. This wouldn't be a good post if I didn't tell you about Montana, the sweet bad boy type who stole my heart with one impish smile and has now moved away. Or Keaundre who stole Nate's wallet today and lied about it. We were shocked...he was one of the last kids we suspected of such a thing. Or the girl whose name I can't even pronounce, let alone spell, but who is so starved for love that she can't even accept it or recognize it.
So much more to say...
God is beautiful.