Last night I sat in the altar with three youth. We were surrounded by three hundred people, but I saw no one else but them. Josh is just out of his teens. Brandy is 18. Brianna is 17.
Life hasn't been easy for any of them. Brandy lives with a friend because home isn't a great place to be. Brianna is 17 going on 100 because she's seen too much too soon.
I talked with them, listening to their stories, to their hunger for something better. Josh moved closer so I could pray with him. I placed my hands on his forearm and I felt them.
Scars. Lots of them.
I kept my hand there. Why? I don't know, except I felt God's presence. As if his scars -- taken on the cross -- were big enough to cover the wounds on Josh's arm.
Josh crumpled and placed his head on my shoulder, like he was 6 instead of 20 and began to weep.
He felt God, too.
This is what I love most about faith. New life. God wrapping himself around a life and breathing in purpose and healing and peace.
Afterward, Josh and Brandy and Brianna hugged me.
"I feel so amazing," Brianna said.
Yeah, I love that too.
I love ministry. I love watching God at work.
I love seeing new life.
If you think about it today, will you pray for three brand new followers of Christ. My new friends.